Today, local artist Anna Marchetti fills us in on a fascinating new collaborative space here in Nashville.
Whether you are are someone who wants to dabble in woodworking or printmaking, needs access to a dark room or a work table, or simply wants to take a class on home brewed beers, Fort Houston is a place to know about.
Just a stone’s throw from Greer Stadium, Fort Houston is a place for anyone–from beginners (really!) to professionals–who wants to create art in a collaborative environment. I was blown away by the space, which boasts the “bohemian” nature of an artist’s commune, yet remains informative, proficient and professional. The energy being generated here is infectious, to say the least.
Known as the Brick Factory in its previous incarnation in Cummins Station, Fort Houston has reopened its doors and revamped its facilities. The studio is fully equipped with woodworking facilities, a printmaking studio, a darkroom, digital printing technology, and an abundance of functional free space that lends itself to nearly any media. The large worktables can be shared or rented individually.
For those who feel artistically inept but long to unleash their inner Pollock, Fort Houston offers specialized classes for beginners. The line up of classes for July includes Woodshop Orientation, Print Shop Orientation, Bike Shop Orientation, an Introduction to Rough Milling Lumber, and a lecture on the Joy of Mopedding. The classes range in price, but the costs are tailored to include materials, and ensure a thorough interactive demonstration led by professional artists and craftsmen. Fort Houston also offers various membership packages that grant access to specific equipment and work desks. Membership also guarantees discounted prices for all classes.
Fort Houston’s classes do not merely promote the visual arts. In the past, Fort Houston founders have hosted an Aerial Dance class and a Home Brewing class, a testimony to their allegiance to promote no only artists and artisans, but also the creative collective. In addition to working studio space, Fort Houston has recently erected a gallery corridor which recently held its first show and reception. The space features the work of abstract artist Dustin Hendrick. Though Fort Houston resides on the periphery of the 5th Avenue galleries, it hopes to continue to integrate itself into the First Saturday Art Crawl by hosting more shows and capitalizing on its proximity to surrounding galleries such as the newly relocated Zeitgeist Gallery.
To further integrate arts into community, Fort Houston hosts a variety of events. I was able to partake in a coffee tasting featuring Primary Coffee, a local company that celebrates the creativity of their roasting process. Sipping these buttery notes amidst the thick aroma of freshly sawed wood, I felt the power of this particular dwelling. Fort Houston is a place of innovation, exploration, but more importantly, collaboration. “We’re seeing tech and culinary types take interest in not only our work space, but our members, too. If they have an idea, and they’re not sure of the next step, they can come here and exchange intellectual currency,” remarked cofounder Ryan Schemmel.
Proponents of both work and play, Fort Houston’s founders welcome all who are willing to cultivate craft and creativity. Unique in that if offers studio, gallery, shop and classroom, Fort Houston encourages Nashvillians to indulge their creative aspirations and provides them with the resources to do so.
For more information about Fort Houston events, classes, and membership fees visit forthouston.com.
A Nashille native and recent Sewanee grad, Anna Marchetti is currently pursuing interests in both visual and culinary art. You can see some of here work here: art2.sewanee.edu/art/