One of the challenges Zero Empty Spaces set out to fix in 2019 is helping artists find a place to work. Since its inception, the rapidly growing artist studio/vacancy management company has set up affordable studios in vacant spaces around South Florida and beyond. Artists can create and collaborate in designated locations from Sarasota to Doral, including a new studio space at The Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.
“We came up with the idea of Zero Empty Spaces after hearing from multiple artists we met at our annual art fair—Art Fort Lauderdale—about where they could find affordable artist studios,” says Andrew Martineau, the initiative’s co-founder. With a background in retail development and as a consultant for shopping center developers, Martineau is used to strategizing to curate events, drive traffic and sales, and find creative ways to activate vacant spaces.
“We combined the popular, short-term leasing strategies utilized by shopping centers with the benefits of having an otherwise vacant space active and created working artist studios,” he says. In return, Zero Empty Spaces helps to grow the appreciation of all genres of art and creates thriving cultural communities at each location’s surrounding city.
A mix of local and international artists looking to develop their art and turn it into a viable business venture are among those renting spaces. “Miami needs more affordable artist studios where artists can create and showcase their work, in addition to subsidized living for artists,” says Martineau. “The city also needs more opportunities for artists of all genres to be able to work full-time in their field.” He says incredible things happen when artists don’t have to worry about making enough money to put a roof over their heads. “Historically, patronage of individual artists was something that gave status to individuals, but now much of that patronage goes to institutions instead of to individual artists,” he adds. “Artists like Michelangelo were entirely funded by the Vatican. All he did was create, and look at what came out of that.”
In addition to Hallandale, Zero Empty Spaces will be opening new locations in downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Warehouse District in West Palm Beach.