After the terrible fire that destroyed its former home in April last year, Studio ARTES expects to open its doors next month on new premises.
But despite some help from both state and federal governments, Hornsby Council, Westfield and private benefactors, the Studio won’t be able to operate to full capacity unless it finds badly-needed funds to keep doors open for the 160 clients with a disability coming through its Jersey Street doors every week.
The $300,000 renovations to the two storey building – including lift installation, an all-purpose creative visual arts studio, multimedia, dance and music studios, new kitchen and classrooms for learning and life skills sessions – were due to be completed in mid February.
“We’re on a 15 year lease and the building’s owner has been really helpful, assisting us with getting our DA through and allowing us to do work on his building,” said spokesperson Lliane Clarke.
“But we need further significant funds to turn the new space into a fully functioning series of studios. We’re asking people to help us, with one off or ongoing donations. Our mission is to be the leading creative arts provider for people with a disability in Sydney.
“Studio ARTES aims to build connections with the broader community to increase opportunities for people with disability to be involved in wider social, educational and vocational networks.”
Gifted portrait artist Daniel Kim, pictured, one of the clients living with a disability who comes to Studio ARTES, has developed his creativity since starting there. He now paints high profile Australians including former Governor General Dame Marie Bashir, and sells his work at Arts NSW and Carriageworks.
Whilst Daniel may struggle with some mainstream forms of communication, on the canvas he’s fluent. “Daniel is happy when he paints because he can speak through painting,” said his Mum Joy Kim.