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Incubator Space

At Five Points Gallery

Aaah, what Van Gogh, or many another starving artist, would have done for such support. Five Points Gallery at 5 Water Street in Torrington has opened a new initiative, the Incubator Space, with the goal of nurturing new talent.

The road to success may still be rocky, but the gallery is attempting to smooth out some of the rough spots by providing 470-square-feet of studio space at a reasonable rate for three young artists, all recent graduates of art schools.

“They are paying about one-third of what it would normally cost to rent a studio,” said Judith McElhone, the gallery's founding executive director. “Even for one artist, this space would be a bargain.

McElhone said the project has been “going beautifully” since its inception in mid-March. “The artists are all settling in and using the space,” she said. All were affiliated with the gallery prior to the start of the project and all were “naturals” for inclusion in the project.

The idea for an Incubator Space had been growing for some time. “We very much wanted to provide support for young artists getting out of college,” she said. “By doing this, we also involve them in the gallery so they are building community.”

She said the space provided for the studio is less finished than some of the offices that surround it, but is “perfect for artists. It has nice light and good space.” The gallery is seeking additional incubator spaces.

Five Points Gallery is involved in a consortium with three colleges, Hartford Art School, UConn-Torrington and Northwestern Community College (NWCC). The consortium helps the three schools by providing resources such as internships for their students.

She said the initiative also extends to the kind of works shown in the gallery. “We try to show all kinds of art,” she said. “Some is very saleable, others not—but we feel it is important to be seen by the community. We’re an educational initiative. It is important for good art to be seen—it influences lives.”