By Isabel Sweet
It is important for communities to provide spaces for art.
Creative spaces help bring people together in a positive and healthy way. Just as space for art and artistic expression is vital for communities, artists rely on these spaces for expression.
These spaces provide artists with a place to be open, to find acceptance, to learn, and to belong.
As individuals, artists can find opportunities for growth and development when they are willing to accept help and guidance from others. Collaborating with a community of other artists can lead to new ideas and open up the mind.
The Write Place
Paula Sheil, founder of Tuleburg Press explained why we need spaces for art.
“It’s important for every city, home and every person to think of him or herself as an artist because everyone can do art. You have to have places in a community for people to congregate and to share ideas, expand on their ideas, and learn from one another,” she said.
Tuleburg Press in Downtown Stockton is staffed by a group of creatives who have experience in visual and performing arts, literature, and art. The experience each staff member has is unique and as a collective, they’re well equipped to help writers build their work.
Staff member Katelynn Castaneda said students are learning in a more exciting way than usual.
“We do fun projects with them, reading and writing are definitely involved in that. It’s such a fun and cool approach to them that they learn it better and they are excited to come back compared to oh my god my teachers making write an essay,” said Castaneda.
This space is for creative writing and it includes a book arts center. The space is modeled after a nonprofit in San Francisco called 826 Valencia. They are dedicated to supporting under-resourced students with their writing skills. The Write Place teaches writing, bookbinding, and letterpress printing on vintage presses to writers of all ages.
Sheil shared her passion for The Write Place.
“I hope this organization is here when I’m dead. I consider this a legacy project for Stockton. So this whole space came out of being a journalist and a writer and became out of what is the anatomy of the book and what is the DNA of writers,” said Sheil.
Writing groups and book clubs are welcome to use the space in the evenings. On weekends, The Write Place hosts author readings and artists who teach papermaking, bookbinding, and papercrafts of many kinds.
Another space in Stockton that helps singers and musicians is called The Press.
Diego Alyala is one of the main sound engineers at the press, he started working there in 2015 and works mainly in the genres of Hip Hop/Rap, R&B, and Pop. At The Press, the staff has a passion for audio and helping artists sound their best.
“I believe that people gain some confidence in themselves and their own skills in the arts because we help refine these rough ideas that they come in with,” said Alyala.
The goal of the Press is to give artists the best recording experience possible. While recording there, artists can focus on a very relaxed yet productive environment.
Collaborating and consulting with professional and experienced sound engineers provide musicians and singers with the talents needed to translate their music into a professional and shareable format. The space is impressive with world-class recording equipment.
At the Press they have around thirty different types of microphones, all kinds of instruments including guitars, amps, cabs, pedals, drums, and keys, they use a variety of different systems, and have many plugins such as virtual instruments.
This creative art space allows musicians and singers to focus on their artistic expression without worrying too much about the technical side of the recording process.
“I just wanna help people bring their vision to life they come in here I wanna just become a conduit for their ideas and what they wanna record. Anything I can do to help that, that’s what I’m setting out to do,” said Alyala of his goals.
Creating spaces for artists to collaborate promotes connectivity. Connectivity leads to stronger and safer communities. By providing spaces for artistic expression and collaboration, a town or city can make a massive positive impact on the health and well being of its citizens. Being surrounded by different types of art can lift spirits and motivate people.
Whether it is a sculpture, painting, music, or video observing and participating in spaces for creation can play a huge role in building a community. As artists in the community come together to create, they develop a sense of ownership and pride.
As people gain a sense of belonging and ownership, the entire community benefits and becomes a better place to work and live.