Opening its doors again to the
community, PopopStudios hosted its end of year open studios night yesterday.
From 6-9 p.m., visitors were invited to check out studio spaces and view
artists’ recently completed works and works in progress. The event is something
that Popop has become known for.
The studios were once the home
and then a bed and breakfast belonging to the grandfather of Popop Founder John
Cox. The space transitioned into a creative one in 1997, with Cox seeking a
critical and honest place to work. Soon after, artists like Heino Schmid, Blue
Curry, Jason Bennett and Michael Edwards were invited to have studios or use
the space to work. In 2008, Popop officially opened into commercial studio
“One of the biggest things I
missed when I left RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) was conversation
around making work – mature, honest, critical conversation about the works
you’re making and the works in the environment,” recalled Cox. “And I was like,
‘Oh, man, how am I going to find that?’ Because it’s important for people to
tell you honestly what they think is going on with your practice… Those
conversations are pivotal, and you find them in different ways.”
Located in Chippingham, the
creative hub has become known as an inclusive space, dedicated to the
development of emerging artists. Its annual artist in residency programs provide
selected College of The Bahamas art majors with a place to continue their
practice and become acquainted with the business side of art, while being surrounded
by fulltime practicing commercial and fine artists.
studios concept was designed initially for the purposes of exposing the public
to artists who have studios here, to their practices,” explained Cox. “It was
designed to be an event that would take place three or four times a year and be
something that all of the artists stationed here would be expected to do. And
it is just that.”
There are nine
artists in residence at PopopStudios International Center for the Visual Arts
engaged in a variety of art forms, including jewelry making, mixed-media
practice, painting, photography and sculpture. The open studios evening is
designed to benefit each of them. While it is customary for studios to take a
percentage of artists’ sales to fund operating costs, artists keep 100% of the
proceeds from works sold inside the individual studios on open studios evenings.
Those hoping to support both the artists and the institution should inquire
about works on sale in the general Popop gallery space, where proceeds are
split between the studios and artists.
the doors to Popop’s studios hadn’t been thrown open in a while, Cox recognized
the importance of the event as an artist and member of the Popop community.
“It’s like a litmus test for your
practice, and if things are progressing well, and if you’re engaged in your
practice, opening up your studio doors every three months to have people walk around
for three hours shouldn’t be a task. It does provide incentive to keep making
art; people don’t want to come to this open studio and come to another one in
February and see the same work.”
Hosting open studio nights is something Cox
hopes to do once a quarter, scheduling them in around formal shows in the
space. He also has plans to use the recent Baha Mar closure to benefit the
“What we want to do is move a
little bit of the energy from The Current to Popup, and have those guys be the
creative administrative team that pushes programming, if we can get the funding
for it,” he said.
“Popop’s model was cut and pasted
in The Current so we’re going to take the good stuff from that experience and
repaste here to create a broader, more dynamic agenda.”
For more information on
PopopStudios Open Studios events or to visit the studios and gallery, contact
Popop at 322-7834.