3S Artspace is a Portsmouth nonprofit working on renovating a large building into studio space for artists, a farm-to-table restaurant, performance space and a gallery. For Catherine Scala, finding studio space here gave her the boost to continue her career as an artist.
Scala’s been painting and drawing for over 20 years, which hasn’t been easy while she simultaneously “juggles a family, and wrestles with trying to cobble together lots of different jobs.” This was compounded by the fact that her work space was in her house because she couldn’t afford a separate studio. “So, if I wanted to have studio visits with a gallery owner, they’d be walking up two flights of stairs, past my kid’s bedroom, stumbling over shoes that were left 5 minutes before.” Not exactly a professional face for something she wanted to turn into a business. Says Scala, “I found myself wondering how long I could keep this up for.”
“That’s when I found out about 3S Artspace.” For an affordable fee, 3S gave her a room 12 feet square, not big, but enough room to set up a desk her pencils and her paints. “It also allowed me to bring people in and have a legitimate space like most people do when they embark on a profession.” Scala says that proximity with artists in adjacent studios has further fueled her creativity. And 3S’s facility has also allowed her to host open houses, which helps to attract clients.
Says Scala, “I’ve made a lot of connections, including local business owners that are interested in my work.” Restaurant owners, dentists, area business offices, all are looking for items to hang on their walls, opening up new areas of revenue for Scala. But she’s most excited about a gallery in New York that found her through 3S and will soon be exhibiting her work.
“3S has been integral in being able to get to that point,” says Scala. “I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity.”