The Reading Studio

This studio is an off-grid live-in art space, parked in the small town of Reading, Vermont. Reading is where my grandparents raised their children Arnold, Julie and Kevin. I began construction of the studio the year my grandmother Helen Kaija, passed away. My earliest questions for the project, such as “what does it mean to be self-sustaining?” and “how would we create more environmentally ethical spaces for artmaking?” Turned into a process of recognizing my own limitations of constructing anything of livable scale as an individual. The construction of the Reading Studio therefore evolved into a project about the sustainence of shared family knowledge, effort, love, humour and how we share space in the time we have. The original intention of having this space as a room of my own, organically grew into a shared space for family visiting our hillside farm in Vermont. 

The studio was built on a 8' x 14' flatbed trailer. Materials were gathered from a combination of locally sourced, salvaged, and recycled building products. The building process and a series of short stories published online during the time of construction, described both a material process in tandem with a personally cathartic one. 

I began construction of the studio in the summer of 2013 and just before its completion was accepted into an MFA program on the west coast. Thanks to Geoff & Julie Martin, Kevin, Lisa, Abigail, Lauren, Gretchen, Ben and Oliver Kaija, the studio has a patch of grassy home in Vermont.

This project is dedicated to Helen Kaija.

The Reading Studio. 8’x14’x10’. Locally sourced and salvaged building materials. Reading, Vermont.

© Liljana Mead Martin 2019