A GALLERY + WORKSHOP SPACE
WELCOME TO THE COMMON ROOM!
When people walk into our gallery & workshop space at Front and Jefferson in Fishtown, I always make sure to ask them right away if they've visited us before. Open for sixteen months, and I still get so excited when our neighbors come in for the first time!
I also feel, and have felt since this space was nothing more than an idea in my head, this eagerness to share our mission with people and and explain what we're about. So, in an effort to honor my 2019 intention of storytelling, I've decided to start telling you more about what and who we are through this monthly blog.
The idea for a gallery featuring work by womxn and nonbinary artists was one that came to me in 2015 while teaching a trauma-informed writing workshop at Penn. I'd designed the workshop for college students to share stories of campus sexual assault in a safe space, and after two years I knew it needed to make it accessible to the community. I spoke with my students, and they told me they envisioned the workshop existing in a space that was comfortable, creative, bright, and filled with art. Without knowing it at the time, they were describing The Common Room.
I researched the 826 National model, and realized this space could be self-sustaining: we could create a community hub for intentional art-making and holistic wellness programs, while also providing space for womxn and nonbinary artists of all mediums, literary and visual, to express the diverse range of their experiences.
Sixteen months later, and we've worked with over 160 artists and are currently featuring work by more than 95 womxn and nonbinary makers across the Greater Philadelphia area. We host standing monthly workshops, class series, exhibits, and events open to all.
We're experiencing a lot of really exciting change right now - this blog is just one of the many new developments, and each month will spotlight one of our 95+ womxn and nonbinary artists. We want to keep you up to date on what's happening in our community and how you can get involved!