The artists are the first cohort of the Hercules Art Studio Program, an initiative launched by designer and philanthropist Andrea Woodner and architect Claire Weisz in 2016. The program offers affordable studio space to recent MFA grads for a two-year term. Though it’s small in scale, only able to support seven artists at a time, Hercules is among very few subsidized studio opportunities for artists in the famously expensive city.
A new model for affordable artist studios in Manhattan, The Architects Newspaper
“I just got tired of people always talking about the same problem—it’s simple, just don’t go for the highest dollar [as a landlord],” said sculptor Andrea Woodner in response to constantly hearing how hard it is to foster the arts in New York City. When the third floor became available in her building, 25 Park Place, she worked with architect and business partner (the pair cofounded Design Trust for Public Space) Claire Weisz of WXY to renovate it for artists’ work studios to be leased below market rate.
Making Space for Manhattan Artists That They Otherwise Couldn't Afford, The New York Times
“I just can’t believe my good fortune,” Jenna Westra said standing inside her TriBeCa studio, barely a year after earning an M.F.A. in photography from Hunter College. Large portraits of friends, models and strangers striking angular, almost geometric poses hung on the walls.