As space becomes an increasingly valuable commodity for Aspen locals, three Aspen residents join forces to create a creative space for the community.
Studio 5 is located in an old industrial building on North Mill Street and is shared between artist Agustina Mistretta, alchemist and poet Kara Flack and designer Tim Sack.
Filled with vintage furniture, clothing and record collections, art on the walls and ongoing projects strewn across tables, the studio serves the local trio individually as a workplace and collectively as a community endeavor.
“It’s an artists’ studio and a public space,” Mistretta said. “A lot of what we have in mind for this space has to do with creating events that bring the community together.”
Studio5 came to life last winter when three creatives joined forces in search of a studio space that could be an outlet for each of them professionally, creatively and collaboratively.
Sack, who is a residential interior designer, said he needed an office and presentation space to show his designs and antique collections to other designers in the community. His latest business venture called Partistry, which is a party kit rental business that packages items, fragrances, and other artistic items for clients, is also based at Studio5’s headquarters.
Both Mistretta and Flakke previously owned art studios in Sam Harvey’s sprawling underground studio in East Hopkins, which catered to more than 20 local artists and creatives and closed in November when he was kicked out of his upstairs gallery, the Harvey Preston Gallery.
When Flake was notified that Harvey’s studio was closing, she said she was crushed and immediately approached real estate agents to try to find another job.
“We were incredibly lucky – I wrote one message and got a call back that it was available – as if it was just luck,” Flake said. “And I think that some of that space also allows locals to understand that they have the opportunity to feel settled in an accessible public space.”
Partnering with MiStretta and Sack, the trio moved quickly and signed a lease for Studio5 in early December. After spending the winter and spring settling into the new studio and using it more for their individual pursuits, they now enter summer with open doors and open arms.
“Because we have the opportunity to be in this space, we just want to share it,” Mistretta said. “We keep the doors open, listen to people’s ideas, and expand the opportunity for other people to participate in this space, but we’re not looking for profit or anything like that.”
When it comes to community opportunities, the Studio5 team discussed several potential work ideas, from organizing a photo club and poetry workshops to breathwork and meditation sessions, soft drink making classes and weekly movie nights.
In keeping with the open and accessible spirit of the space, Mistretta said she hopes ideas for using it come from other people as well.
“What we need is a public space where someone doesn’t even have to rent it, doesn’t even have to pay for it, to give and share with the community what they know and what they like is a big, big part of this,” Mistretta said. “And it’s word of mouth, like if you want to belong to it, you’ll know. You will know what’s going on.”
While the three owners of Studio5 have no plans to sell or promote future events on social media or elsewhere, they encourage community members to contact us about events, projects, or any other space requests.
“People can reach out to us and if they’re looking for a place to host something inclusive and not $10,000 in the community, then that’s definitely what we’re here for,” said Sack, describing it as more of a “gonzo version of » for social endeavors.
Sak went on to explain how they hope to use Studio5 as a meeting place for friends and community members. Especially during the high season, when the fight against bookings, prices and crowds in the city becomes “outrageous”, Studio5 – with its front lot and proximity to Rio Grande Park and the river – can be a gathering place, he says.
“It’s a welcome relief,” Flakke said. “And we want everyone to know: if you have a project, bring it. We’d love to see it, it powers the space, and that’s what we got it for.”