Visiting Beaumont Studios is like playing art school "spin the bottle."
If it’s a Monday night, you might watch that week’s episode of Vancouver City Limits music (stay tuned for a profile). Other nights might feature one of the plays that run on the studio’s in-house stage, or could be an opportunity to check out a 1913 printing press, an action abstract painting exhibit or a glimpse of a working artist in one of 16 on-site studios. Or you could just grab a specialty coffee from the studio’s electronic barista and wander.
Chances are, whatever you do will end up reflecting the studio’s unique approach to artistic collaboration.
Founder Jude Kusnierz was driven as much by need as vision to found the studio a half-decade ago. Working as a professional glass painter several years ago, her workplace suffered an electric fire that destroyed the building. She searched out its replacement with a few key factors in mind.
Kusnierz wanted the new studio to have a large, open community room, so when artists were not in the studio, they had a shared space to access. A gallery offered exhibition space for the work created in the Beaumont’s upstairs glass-walled studios. A stage showcased music and theatre productions, which in turn would introduce a broader audience to the on-site artists.
“I wanted to design a studio that featured a community setting: not so much an individualized collection of studios as a place where a group of artists can all work together,” said Kusnierz. “I wanted to amalgamate like-minded individuals who are career artists interested in creating and interacting with each other. The idea was they would all bring their clients to the building to expose them to other people’s work, through events, receptions and exhibitions.”
These like-minded creators would blend their talents in a kind of business and artistic synergy: videographers who collaborate with audio producers and photographers to produce documentaries about sculptor colleagues. For example, wedding photographers work with ring designers and artists who specialize in customized invitations. Along with sharing clients, the artists could collaborate artistically.
“We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to create and interact with each other, while also allowing for private space,” said Kusnierz. “There’s this osmosis and possibility for collaboration that happens when we’re together that becomes greater than the sum of its parts.”
So far the idea is taking off. Along with ongoing plays, exhibitions and music performances, 2008 saw a music festival celebrating the studio’s four-year anniversary and a summer solstice party—all promoted and driven by Beaumont members and their friends.
To learn about what’s coming up at the Beaumont, sign up for their newsletter.
Or drop by the studio at 316 West 5th Avenue:
• Watch Vancouver City Limits: On March 9, Laura Doyle, Fera and The Sumner Brother perform. Art Darts profile coming soon.
• Watch The Beggars in the House of Plenty: March 3–14.
• Watch Shocker’s Delight!: March 24–April 4.
• See Mischka Bartkow’s art exhibit, which opened on February 5.