After months of major construction and restoration, after months of designing, organizing and planning, the Steel Yard is ready to reopen its doors and welcome the community back into the industrial arts studio. Many of the improvements don’t show, but will be enjoyed as the temperatures drop. Not only is the building heated, insulated, and fortified with a brand new electrical system, but it’s now ADA accessible. (Facebook event.)
In a preview today, Steel Yard director, Howie Sneider, thanked all the entities that have made these improvements possible, but he also unveiled a new 50KW solar canopy (see below) to be installed later this year. Newport Renewables has partnered with Kite Architects to develop a solar design for the gantry mounted array that will deliver financial and environmental savings to the Yard. Looks kind of cool too.
Seen here is the ceramic arts studio which didn’t look much different at first, but on closer inspection it now features hanging infrared heaters and ceiling fans and new double-insulated windows! Anyone living in an old house knows where the cold creeps in. Also new are the resident bays (with the turquoise panels) where artists can work and keep their stuff.
When you go: Ask questions. Get information on the course listings, the residency programs, workforce training, and public projects. They also do private projects. Ever thought you needed bars on a street-level window or door, but you didn’t want it to look like . . . jail?
This is great way to kick off the weekend.
Studio Grand Reopening party, 5:30pm to 8:30pm, Friday, September 20, Steel Yard, 27 Sims Avenue, (directions)
The studios were already up and running today. Lee was busy working on stanchions for a new Seven Stars Bakery . . . a tool in each hand . . . one of which was shooting out flames.
Anvils sometimes need repairing! Who knew. Israel, a welder and blacksmith, gave me a short tutorial. Many of these anvils over 100 years old. Seek him out on Friday if he is around; he is charming and talkative. If he looks familiar, he sometimes appears at those black-smithing demos at festivals. (I’m not sure if Israel had any idea what I was seeing through my viewfinder — he has a big sly grin at all times — but I think I may have a January for my ‘Men of the Steel Yard’ calendar. And now they can work on their anvils in January!
The future solar panel array.