Huge progress made at Art Station as first studios occupied
- Credit: The Art Station
The first phase of work to bring a creative hub to a Suffolk town is now well underway after a busy 2020.
The Art Station in Saxmundham has been making progress throughout the year to refurbish part of the town's old telephone exchange and turn it into a space for local creatives.
The project held a crowdfunding campaign earlier in the year which helped raise over £14,000 and also received further funding from East Suffolk Council and Magnox Ltd as well as £50,000 from the New Anglia LEP.
As a result of the fundraising the station has now been able to open it's first rented artist studios which have already been occupied.
Work will continue in the new year to convert the shared kitchen and hot-desking space with the layout planned to ensure adherence to Covid restrictions.
The project leaders hope the communal working space will welcome the homeworkers that have been working in isolation this year and will help build a vital sense of community and encourage networking and collaboration amongst those adapting to the new ways of working.
Edgefield, a professional dance company, will be utilising the building’s new rehearsal space to practice in the future.
The Art Station has also welcomed its first artwork this year too in the form of a new sculpture.
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The piece, entitled BEYOND, was created by former University of Suffolk fine art student Fred Lankester and is displayed in The Art Station’s lobby where it can be seen illuminated at night from the High Street.
Clare Palmier from the Art Station said: "Despite the challenges of this year, we have made huge progress and are now occupying our new creative space in the old telephone exchange.
"Thanks to our refurb team led by Jonathan Clogg and Spinnaker projects we have achieved phase 1 and already have the first creatives working in their spaces. Thanks to our wonderful funders: New Anglia LEP, East Suffolk Council and Magnox Ltd for supporting the refurb.
"Art Station can be a vital part of the local creative and cultural economy through supporting the creative industries and providing a vibrant art programme for Saxmundham and coastal Suffolk."