Shed Raising with Habitat for Artists founder Simon Draper as part of the exhibition “Strange Invitation”

Terri Smith

March 16, 2:00 PM–5:00 PM

Do you enjoy the outdoors and building things? Then join Franklin Street Works on Saturday, March 16 for a shed building event from 2:00 – 5:00 pm! The build will take place in Franklin Street Work’ back patio and outdoor space and will invite those in attendance to help artist Simon Draper install one of his signature 6 x 6 Studios, which he calls Habitat For Artists. The artist studio is part of the Digging Deeper installation, which is one of three components in Franklin Street Works’ upcoming exhibition, titled Strange Invitation (April 4 – June 16). The structure will be transformed by artists and evolve throughout the run of the exhibition. For this event, Stamford’s Lorca Café will be providing delicious snacks for all of the builders, while composer and musician Evan James will be providing a playlist! Please join us at any point during the event for some outdoor fun and a unique opportunity to engage with artists and the community. Stick around after for a rewarding party from 5:00 – 6:00 pm that includes a sampling of beers from Half Full Brewery!

“Habitat for Artists” is a collective project that uses the idea of artists’ studios as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. The “habitats” are small, temporary, 6’ by 6’ studios installed at a variety of locations. The studios are made from predominantly recycled or reclaimed material and are reused for each new iteration of the project.

The Digging Deeper component of Strange Invitation will focus on artists who work in relationship to sustainability and agriculture through three components: Draper’s habitat; a group exhibition curated by Amy Lipton; and a farm stand and garden conceived and organized by artist/activist Andrea Reynosa. The Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand is a civic ecology investigation into local youth, regional watershed/foodshed awareness, heirloom crop production and entrepreneurship.

Franklin Street Works’ habitat will initially act as an artist studio and a greenhouse for the propagation of seedlings that will be transplanted to a small raised bed garden. Once the seedlings have been planted, it will be the site of mini artist residencies where artists activate the space periodically. Simon Draper will also be partnering with Stamford’s Fairgate Farms, the Hudson Valley Seed Library and other regional artists and community groups as the space evolves, exploring themes such as gardening, farming, and urban sustainability.