ArtsHab One

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Our first live/work community

At the end of August, 2014, ArtsHab One closed its doors. It will be remembered fondly and will provide inspiration for future Arts Habitat projects.

Background

In the spring of 1999, Edmonton’s first live/work artist community opened in the heart of the Urban Warehouse District. Arts Habitat, the City of Edmonton, and a private commercial property owner partnered to renovate a space into sustainable live/work units for artists for the creation of art. With a grant from the city for renovations to the space, Arts Habitat turned the commercial space into ArtsHab 1, and an artistic community was born.

ArtsHab 1 became home and studio to some of Edmonton’s most active contemporary visual, craft, performing, and literary artists. The artist community in ArtsHab 1 hosted a gallery, special events, and art projects while working and living together. This dynamic collection of artists nurtured one another and made significant contributions to the broader Edmonton artistic scene and their neighbors in the downtown core.

 

ArtsHab One Living

Over the years ArtsHab One residents have served the community by hosting several public events and spaces, such as:

  • The ArtsHab Studio Gallery was held in the converted hallways for residents;
  • Public was invited and encouraged to interact with the artists;
  • A multidisciplinary Halloween rock extravaganza–5 local bands, the Raving Poets, experimental filmmakers, a burlesque troupe and a visual art exhibition at the Paramount on Jasper;
  • Over 100 public and semi-private art related events.

One of the great things about living in ArtsHab 1 was the opportunity to build a cultural space right in our homes and share that with the public. In 2003 the residents got together to turn the hallways into a public gallery. We were a space for artists and emerging curators to exhibit works of art to a public audience without the pressure of making sales by creating a cultural hub open to anyone who passed by. Everyone was welcome from homeless people just looking for a place to escape to for a while, to high ranking politicians, business professionals, art collectors, emerging artists, and tourists. Our hallways and often our homes were a welcome place for all to visit for a while – and many did.

Jeff Collins