SAFE- Studio Assistant Funding Endeavor

The Studio Assistant Funding Endeavor (SAFE) is Deb’s way of investing in the next generation of ceramic artists and passing on the support she received as an emerging artist. The Studio Assistant program provides first hand experiential learning, in a successful studio environment, to emerging ceramic artists. Assistants gain valuable insight on the logistics of running an art studio, professional career development direction, and begin to build their own network. It allows assistants to dedicate as much time as possible to the practice of experience based learning and mentorship, which is crucial at the beginning of an artists career. S.A.F.E is a program that will develop sustainable income sources for assistants, such as a tableware line in partnership with Babirusa restaurant. Additionally, it will be a crowd sourced account to create reliable funding/ resources for future studio assistants.

The Studio Assistant Funding Endeavor, S.A.F.E, provides financial support to artists as they dedicate their time to the assistant program and individual studio practices. Through this program, assistants will gain valuable insight on the logistics of running an art studio, personal career direction, and artistic voice development.

Career path development for artists is complex and often untaught. Emerging artists apply to join the Rat City Studio Assistant Program with a developed portfolio, artist statement, and references, which exhibit dedication to a career in the arts. The studio assistant program fills a need for individualized guidance and varied learning opportunities. Assistants have access to a well equipped, collaborative ceramic studio and community networking opportunities.

Studio Assistants enter into a work-trade exchange for one to two years.  They work up to 8-15 hours a week in trade for their studio space and regular guidance for their art work and professional practices.  (View details under the Assistantship Tab). We work together on studio chores/ maintenance Tuesdays all day and Thursdays we formally meet in the morning to talk about their personal projects and check in on personal goals.  Over the two year period we aim to cover a huge variety of topics. View more details about our exchange. These projects are offered as a starting place. To absorb and grow through them takes a high degree of personal dedication and investment. We work on anything from artist statements to career mapping.  Technical clay difficulties to how to approach a gallery.  Information is helpful, but time is a key factor in growth.

Young artists living in Seattle have much to overcome.  High housing rates are among the most difficult.  Their time is needed in the studio.  Instead they are working day jobs ( which to some extent can be helpful in building a circle of friends and creating balance outside the studio). However, the more time I see assistants spend in their studio, the higher the degree of steps they take toward personal growth with in their work and getting their artwork into the world.

The Studio Assistant Funding Endeavor (SAFE) 

Steps Rat City Studios is taking to create support for assistants are...

  • designing and producing a Tableware Line for Babirusa as a studio and this will help support the assistants.  Initially, funds are going to start-up costs for this project...
  •  added a Grants Administrator to the RCS Team!
  • secured an yearly allotted AMACO materials stipend for each assistant.
  • fundraising through collaborative cake stands (To your right).
    These artworks created start-up money for the purchase of the jigger we are using to make the restaurant tableware line.
  • currently in the application process for Fiscal Sponsorship
  • planning for a Summer Funding Campaign to further develop the Studio Assistant Funding Endeavor (SAFE)

Creating the SAFE
The goal is to create a pool of funds that will be divided equally among assistants.  A portion of the proceeds from the Babirusa Tableware line will begin to build the S.A.F.E.  

SAFE Funds will be used to cover assistants expenses such as...

  • Juried Show Exhibitions Fees/ Shipping
  • Firing Costs
  • Glaze Materials / Clay 
  • Tools needed at the studio for their artwork
  • Classes or workshops to gain specialized information
  • Travel Expenses for NCECA Participation
  • Yearly Postcard/ Business Card
  • WCA Membership
  • iCAN Studio Account
  • Shipping Materials

If you have further ideas of how you would like to contribute please reach out to Deb Schwartzkopf.         
Thank you!

 Collaboration between Jennifer Allen & Deb Schwartzkopf

Collaboration between
Jennifer Allen & Deb Schwartzkopf

 Collaboration between Kip O'Krongly & Deb schwartzkopf

Collaboration between
Kip O'Krongly & Deb schwartzkopf

 Collaboration between Blair Clemo & Deb Schwartzkopf

Collaboration between
Blair Clemo & Deb Schwartzkopf