Our Place is Your Space
by Cate Murway
Artist collaboration fuels creative exploration.
The Mill: Arts Collective is a growing cultural hub where educational, artistic, and entrepreneurial values can be cultivated and exchanged, situated in historic Bristol on the Delaware, close to public transport. Founding artist Jessica Leigh Taylor was looking for studio space for herself when she came across the “For Rent” sign at 4447 Mill Street. Her solo dream expressing her high ideals with an inspirational approach to life grew into an artists’ collaboration where artists with knowledge and experience from distant genres and unrelated forms can collide, mesh and spark new ideas.
Jessica offers a renovated, comfortable and affordable space, perfect for creative events, seminars, classes, artist show cases and more. It is a perfect shared artist workspace, gallery and artist community.
She has made the affordable, creative design co-working space quite suitable for an eclectic selection of professions or services, such as courses and workshops, a photography studio with exhibition space, work areas for artists and art classes, room for music lessons, auditions and even songwriting, jewelry making, fashion and interior design, and actually, an ANY creative project space.
Whether you are an artist determined to complete a project, or a web developer who thrives on the energy coming from creative projects, The Mill: Arts Collective just may be your answer.
Free parking is accessible and the SEPTA Regional Rail station is located nearby at Beaver and Garden Streets, and The Mill: Arts Collective is a short walk from shops, dining, and a gorgeous riverfront view.
Jessica Leigh grew up the 3rd of the four children in her family in Elk Grove Village, located in northeastern Chicago, IL. Her dad, Keith David is a retired fire fighter and now an interior decorating. He has no structured artistic background but he had done decorating part time on the side. Her mom, Carol Jayne is a music/ choral teacher who plays piano. Jessica studied Drawing/Painting and Intercultural Studies at Grace College, a Liberal Arts college located in Winona Lake, IN. She too plays the piano, as well as the flute, preferring classical music.
The Taylor children were all home-schooled but they never lacked social interactions or activities. Her parents encouraged Art classes and lessons and Jessica was painting at the fairly young age of 8 or 9, enjoyed drawing with pencils and markers and participating in musical theatre productions.
She rapidly learned different technical techniques, especially admiring those of Oscar-Claude Monet and Vincent Willem van Gogh. “I appreciate his story. He never sold his works and never saw himself as successful. He did it for the love it, working through frustration and never giving up”, referring to van Gogh, one of the most well-known post-impressionist artists. In spite of his lack of success during his lifetime, van Gogh’s legacy lives on having left a lasting impact on the world of art.
Jessica prefers the slow drying nature of oil paints, fantastic for creating subtle blends. She paints abstracts and “less than representational stuff”.
What is her favorite color? “Hardest question, it changes all the time. I do like lighter, dreamy colors.”
Credit goes to the mutual friends of Jessica and her older sister, Andrew Dittman and his wife, Jodi, the proprietors of Calm Waters Coffee Roaster on Mill Street for sharing their love of Bristol with Jessica. They showed her about the town and she too quickly fell in love with Bristol Borough.
She has been residing in Bristol for 1 ½ years now and she has observed it “growing a lot and I wanted to do something larger as an artist.” She chose the name The Mill: Arts Collective because “a mill is a place where things are produced.”
She is an avid proponent of co-working at her hub for creative entrepreneurs, as she feels it encourages collaboration as well as community.
There are affordable membership fees for a collective working, shared space, operating on a month by month basis, or long-term memberships are available. The studios are always accessible; no set hours, offering total convenience for the artists for whenever needed. Rates start at $100/month for 900 sq. feet of shared studio space, a reasonably priced alternative to expensive individual rooms
***Members are accepted on a basis of commitment to their craft, talent, and a genuine spirit of community values.***.
If a shared space alone doesn’t pique an interest, then consider this; The Mill: Arts Collective also hosts events, exhibitions and workshops, offering excellent possibilities for networking, enhancing careers.
The friendly Mill Street neighborhood is peppered with galleries, star-ups, and young, creative talent, right alongside the cultural nucleus, the state-of-the-art Bristol Riverside Theatre. Aspiring artists, interdisciplinary thinkers and creative start-ups can model the more established who have promoted themselves and become most connected.
An open and relaxing place enhances productivity and the exchange of ideas and process can be very healthy. Perhaps an established artisan may seize on an opportunity to explore a form that is innovative or foreign to him or her, working with a master of that form; or it may just be that the master finds him/herself in need of an injection of fresh energy to revitalize his/her work.
The influence of art and artists in a cool co-working space is not only beneficial for the physical aesthetic and just the people who work within The Mill: Arts Collective, but benefits the entire community that surrounds them.
“The Mill is a shared studio space where artists who are passionate about their craft can come and go freely and create in a community environment.”
Rally with her in providing studio space for artists, a virtual pipeline for the flow of creative energy, the development of friendships, and the celebration of the freedom of expression, fostering the arts culture in Bristol!
The Mill: Arts Collective
4447 Mill Street Apt. 5
Bristol, PA 19007
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