I suppose there comes a time in every artist’s career when the garage just isn’t large enough to function as a studio space, storage unit, bicycle shelter and mechanic’s workstation. In 2002, there was an earnest effort made to move out of the garage as my husband and I stumbled upon a little 1930’s bungalow styled adobe home for sale. It was 900 square feet, no heat or air conditioning…perfect! It came with all the comforts of the garage plus room to work.
The house had a story. The previous owner, Bell had lived there since the 1940’s. We know this because we understand that the house originally had no indoor plumbing and a bathroom was built from the back porch by her husband. An original window to the backyard opened into the bathroom. We found the interior wall structures built from citrus crates and ammo boxes dated from the 1940’s.
The house to the east was home to her sister’s family. I understood they had owned the first gas station in town. The stories tell of a close family and of a family that sometimes missed their home in the southeast. Behind Bell’s sister’s house was a strange hewn rock that the grass grew up around; it was part of the well from the home they grew up in as young girls. To the renters, it was nothing more than a nuisance when it was time to mow. But, to Bell and her sister it was part of home.
The stories resonate. However, today the little adobe house that was my studio and the house to the east of it are gone. In 2007, the city embarked on a redevelopment plan that didn’t include the family homes of Bell and her sister. My studio and the surrounding homes were demolished.
I was upset at the situation, pressured by the timeline, scared about the prospects of finding a new space and sad about how the story was ending. But, God has a plan. Within a few months we found space in a commercial area that was perfect for my needs – more than twice the size and would have heat and air conditioning. What more could I ask for? We went to work helping to build out this space. dessadog studio was born October 17, 2008.
What’s in a name? The name dessadog comes from our first dog, Odessa. She was a great dog…so smart. A big part of our family and wonderful companion to our boys when they were little. The name was a playful nickname given to her because…well, it just sort of rolls off your tongue. Some days we really miss her.
Comments are now closed.