Thanks to the generous support of MacDowell Fellow and board member Louise Eastman, a century-old farm building has been reinvented as a modern, energy efficient live and workspace for visual artists. Originally built to provide storage when the residency program was expanding, this small barn was simply converted for studio use in the mid-1950s with the addition of large north-facing windows, a bathroom, and a plywood floor, and was then completely renovated in 2015.
Today Eastman studio offers more than 400 square feet of super-insulated workspace beneath a 15-foot cathedral ceiling. A snug bedroom and full bathroom have been inserted into one quarter of the structure that had previously housed only a hot-air furnace and fuel oil tank. Windows maximize wall space while bringing in natural light from the cardinal directions; the largest windows frame a view of the wooded horizon to the southeast. Indirect LEDs brighten the space after sunset and track lighting illuminates the bright white tack-able walls. The screen porch added on the west faces a green courtyard and small horse barn, providing an outdoor room to complement the production space inside.
By incorporating artists’ feedback into the design and investing substantially in a very tight building envelope, the new studio offers greatly improved functionality and energy efficiency all in one package.