Creatives are flocking to Woodstock in droves to set up shops and studios, but recently there has been a shortage of affordable studio space. Side Street Studios hopes to fill this gap and keep fostering the creative spirit Woodstock is known for. ILW speaks to developer Elad Kirshenbaum about this new venture.
1. What is the concept behind Side Street Studios?
Side street Studios is all about providing affordable space for the young up and coming artists in CT.
2. Why do you think art and design is flourishing in Woodstock?
The freedom of exploration. I think that originally a lot of the buildings were run down and derelict and the artists were allowed to do their own thing that immediately improved the look and feel of the building. I think this freedom together with low rentals, amazing views and inspiring spaces are very attractive for creative people.
3. Do you think too much gentrification in Woodstock will drive artists away?
I do think we need to be aware and careful and we must learn from international experience. Although redevelopment is an important part of urbanization, it is essential to try to include the local community in this process and by doing that hopefully we will be able to hold on to this amazing creative community that has been at the forefront of the Woodstock upliftment.
4. How many studios do you currently have available?
Side Street Studios is the umbrella brand for all the buildings in our portfolio which have creative tenants in them. We just purchased a new building on Albert Road which has space for 30 studios and shops, we are expecting to take transfer during April. At the moment we have 2 buildings which together accommodate about 10 creative tenants of which 32 William St. is one of them.
5. You had your first exhibition 2 weeks ago at one of your studios with a bunch of well known Woodstock artists including Senyol, Mackay, Justin Southey and Black Koki. How did that go and any more exhibitions on the horizon?
This exhibition was organized by the artists themselves and Side Street Studio played a supporting roll in providing the venue and coordinating the event. I am also involved in the #moonlightmass which is a night cycle ride through CT and it happens on the first full moon of every month. We have few big ideas for events later on in the year and will keep you posted.
6. Your previous venture the Woodstock Industrial centre, also previously an artists’ studio hub, has now been sold. Any idea on what will now be happening there?
The WIC is going undergoing massive redevelopment, there is a lot of money invested in this project and I am sure it will have an impact on the area and will fast-forward the development of Albert Rd and surrounding streets.
7. How can artists interested in studio space contact you?
Our website is www.sidestreet.co.za and they can always email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 021-4486511
All images kindly provided by http://www.revolution-daily.com/