Homeshop: A Public/Private Project


Homeshop is a collective, a public/private space, an intersection of new art audiences and traditional art markets, a collaborative social practice, and could be an incredible model for thinking about the many vacant storefronts in Windsor. Homeshop is an apartment, an open studio, and a gallery.

I read about Homeshop in an article in the newest issue of the e-flux journal #5 (which I can absolutely recommend going through in its entirity), and the excitement around the potential of this type of organization and use of space was impossible to ignore.

So why continue to think about the impossibility of affording spaces for individual artists in the city, or the seemingly dwindling support for arts in the city, or any traditional route for production / exhibition? This is not to negate the existing infrastructures we have (and cherish), but just to suggest that there are new models for collective and collaborative space and production that could help Windsor is infinite ways.

What if you could rent a storefront downtown, have a small apartment space in the back, and a studio / gallery up front for the same rent you pay now?

5 Replies to “Homeshop: A Public/Private Project”

  1. This is actually my exact dream. I so wish there was an open collaborative studio space that windsor artists could utilize and thrive in. I’ve never considered the possibility of renting a downtown storefront, but it doesn’t seem impossible. Thank you for posting this.

    1. Samantha, I think it’s a matter of finding mixed-use zoning for the live/work space… it sounds like that’s unlikely in the downtown core, but maybe its outskirts. Working towards a collaborative studio space is probably much more doable, so we should start up a list of potentially interested parties and start looking for and imagining a space for it … glad to know I’m not the only one who’d be interested in seeing this happen

  2. Ann Beer follows this model in her bookshop on the south side of Wyandotte West beteen Randolph and Rankin. (Enquire discreetly.)

    I looked into doing something similar before I (briefly) opened a sewing machine dealership on Ouellette in ’98. There is a by law covering at least the downtown area of Windsor forbidding a dwelling not separated from a commercial space. You can find the exact wording easier than I can but it probably requires a fire wall or something at least. It’s almost certainly justified as a “safety” thing; we must be protected from ourselves, but it’s really designed to prevent the sort of (politically incorrect words coming but I don’t know how to explain what I mean they mean) third world slum atmosphere that adds so much to the kind of areas where you can do this.

    You would have to get the by law changed before advertising this in any but an underground way but that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Windsor needs some major changes and the current “plan” for downtown aint workin’ so good!

    BTW what the h is with the reconstruction of the block of Ouellette between Park and Wyandotte? They killed all the remaining businesses north of Park with their last “improvement”. This is helpful how?

    1. Clare,
      I had no idea about Ann Beer’s bookshop, though I’ve been in there plenty of times … thanks for the lead.

      I figured there must have been some significant issues with liability and legalities concerning a dual-use space, but maybe there’s some ways to think about stretching out the current laws to fit this in… certainly something to think about.

      Or, discover a place in the city that has mixed-use zoning.

      I heard about the reconstruction, doesn’t sound like it’s going to be good for business at all this summer.

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