The Charles Adams Studio Project is an industrious, multi-tasking facility fueling the arts in Lubbock. It is at the epicenter of the budding arts district in our community. It's also one of the official venues that hosts the First Friday Art Trail each month.
If you thought all the artistic energy in Texas was happening down in Austin, you were wrong. Press play on this video immediately. Go on.
Stellar Media collaborated with CASP to develop a concept and a script to help them tell their story. We created two videos, a longer and shorter version, to be used for separate purposes. They incorporate the use of stop motion and time lapse footage to capture the artists’ techniques in action. We also shot aerial video of the First Friday Art Trail which spans the scope of CASP’s property.
So you see, Lubbock is so much more than tumbleweeds and cotton bolls after all!
[Voiceover] The Charles Adams Studio Project serves as a cornerstone in the Lubbock Arts District. It does so by developing and sustaining a working artist's community that actively engages the public with the arts.
So the Charles Adams Studio Project provides studio space for working artists. Sort of simply put.
We bring real working artists into the Arts District where they can interact with the public. The public seems to be enthralled now with process.
But it's professional artists, it's amateurs, it's scout groups that come through. We'll take on anybody that wants to make something and be a part of this.
[Voiceover] Charles Adams Studio Project facilities are designed to provide artists with studio space, specialized equipment, and exhibition opportunities. Currently, Charles Adams Studio Project has four main studios. The building at the corner of 5th and Avenue J houses the Helen DeVitt Jones Print Studio. The Texas Tech University, school of art satellite gallery. The 5 and J Gallery, a nearly 1900 square foot exhibit space. And The CH Foundation Metal Studio, which also includes a foundry located directly behind 5 and J.
A few things that we focused on at the Charles Adams Studio Project is what's the studio equipment. What is the hardest to achieve on your own. The print studio has over $100,000 worth of equipment. And then the metal studio, there's probably over $140,000 worth of equipment. The foundry, you're looking at probably $60,000 worth of equipment to be able to make that work. I mean you can just hear those numbers and go, that's a hard thing for a single artist to achieve.
[Voiceover] Just north of the foundry, are work studios A through D.
The work studios we rent to anybody in the arts who wants them. There's a welder in one, there's a metal artist in one, there's a instructor at Tech who does really oversized drawings and paintings in one, and then Tech Art Department has rented one that they hand out on a semester basis to their art faculty that needs studio space for an upcoming project.
When I moved to Lubbock, I felt super isolated and also unable to work at the size that I prefer. And so when CASP made the work studios available, this was like a huge revolution for my practice, I think.
[Voiceover] Members of CASP's artist in residence program occupied the Live/Work Studios across the street.
That is a program currently where we take grad students or professional artists, we put 'em in for a year or half a year. We use them to run our print studios, or our metal studios, and what happens for us, is we get that young vitality and what happens for them, is that then they hit the market with skills that they didn't have when they first came out.
The fact that there's a live and work space and the gallery space. And you can kind of do what you want with it. That was like a huge plus.
It's hard to find work studios outside of like, the academic like environment, and CASP was awesome because like, they have the print studio that you can do your work in and then be like a print fellow there and work for it.
[Voiceover] Each of CASP's studios features a large overhead door. The door is reflected in their logo. It signifies CASP's mission to foster an open, creative exchange between artists and the community as a whole.
So those doors, when they're up, they create incredibly large opening for the general public to come and see the studios, to be invited to take a class, to talk to an artist, to have a real experience within the spaces. Then when they're closed, you can still see in.
[Charles] It signals the transparency. It signals the fact that we want you to see us. We want you to come down here, walk around down here.
We're built to show people what art can be, and how it can be a part of their lives as well.
[Voiceover] Community involvement is essential to the expansion of the arts. And CASP welcomes any organization or individual with an artistic concept to partner with them to make it a reality.
CASP constantly collaborates. As Chad likes to say, CASP's first word is always yes.
When someone calls us up and says, hey can we do dadada, our knee jerk reaction is just to say yes.
[Charles] Anybody who comes to us with an idea we try to help them find a space on our campus where they can make it happen.
And then it's not just visual artists, but it's dance groups, it's musicians that go, hey can we do this? And we go, yes. Let's figure out how to make that happen.
[Voiceover] While CASP is flexible in meeting the needs of the Lubbock art's community, its dedication to providing suitable work spaces and inspiration for artists has remained consistent.
[Chad] I think artists needs physical space to make their work, they need some sort of equipment, to be able to produce the work they want to make, and then they need a community around them that encourages them to continue to make the work they want to produce.
[Charles] When you graduate from your university, the day you graduate, you lose your facilities. You do not have tool one. You can get a welding rig, but you cannot afford to buy a roller or a bender, because they cost thousands of dollars. The shears cost money.
So it is a struggle when you don't have a space like what CASP provides. Before I was here, you know, I didn't have heating and I didn't have air conditioning, my garage was off an alleyway, so there was some safety issues. Having a space like CASP clears all that out because there's a sink, there's running water, you know? Those are things you don't think about, especially with something like ceramics.
You need enough space to think in and enough to produce successfully in and then also to be working in a space in which there's a proximity to other artists as there is with CASP, is like, a huge advantage, I think.
It's like an incredibly nice graduate school. You know, like there's not a bunch of critiques or pressure, but there's definitely the ability to talk with someone about what you're making, why you're making it, what your decisions are, those people are floating about. And then there is a little bit of you know, well hey, what are you working on now? Like what's new? And so it keeps you fresh and on your toes.
When you've got a community, you're like, oh so and so's working, I need to go get back to work. Or, oh I really love what you're doing here. You know, and you get like feedback on your work, pretty much on a weekly basis.
We never quite know what's going to happen all the time here. And so it's neat when you realize that two artists that didn't know each other before have become friends now, and now they're making something and they're taking that show off to some other place. And you go, that was neat.
[Voiceover] Internships and fellowships are vital to the livelihood of CASP.
Through some grants, we're able to help students or recently graduated students do a fellowship with us where they get experience either putting on classes or managing the studio. Our arts administration fellows help us write grants. They help us write thank you notes, but they get professional experience as to what it takes to manage a non-profit.
One of the side effects of CASP that we didn't know was even gonna happen was our use of interns from Tech and other universities in the area. In fact, if they come in and we get their vitality, we get their knowledge, and they get a line on their resume that says that they have run a print lab, that they have run a metal slab, that they have written grants, that they have worked for a non-profit. So they hit the market a notch above where they would have hit the market had they not come to CASP.
I'm a print fellow there. So on top of like, us just working and maintaining the studio there, we also workshops and classes, and we do like a lot of like, weekend workshops where like, the family and everybody can come in and do, you can like print cards for a couple dollars or shirts. And I know there's like more extensive classes of like lithography or like screen printing and letter press especially.
We think about food, air, water, shelter, I mean, well what's after that? Well to me it's art. It's wanting to be able to make things in your world. To make your life prettier or better or nicer.
The arts are critical because once you're alive, you're not alive unless the arts are alive.
I think what we've got here in Lubbock is really unique. You know, I've met artists that have come in for other shows and they're shocked. They're like, oh we didn't know this was here. Like, this is an amazing facility. I'm like, yeah.
CASP though, I think professionally for me, also has made it possible for me to make better work because I have a better space to work in. It's just really transformed my life.
[Chad] Even though we have a lot of equipment right now, you sort of never have every single tool that you would ever want to have.
[Charles] We plan to have public studio space, we plan to have studio space that we rent for artists to work in, there are lots of areas that need studio space in this community.
Our goal is to do 20 work studios. So with the undeveloped land that we own, we have room to fill, fill those in to get to a total of 20. Currently we're trying to raise $168,000 to match a committed $168,000, so that's a very real number.
It's the beginning of a dream come true. You know, I ain't through yet. We got more ideas than we have time for. And we have more time than we have money for.