Workshop Foundation was born of two simple and long held beliefs by founder Stacie McCormick, to help artists and to connect them to the public. Established as a social enterprise, the Foundation is committed to providing space and time unburdened by commercial constraints. Our crucial desire is to catalyse and inspire all those who participate with our programmes. We facilitate artistic exchange allowing creative practices to develop through residencies and exhibitions as well as providing engaging experiences for our public.
We have now over eight years of demonstrable impact on an international audience, collaborating closely with over 80 artists, mostly by providing exposure and free studio space; very frequently by mentoring through open availability. Our long term ambition is to create a lasting legacy that benefits as many artists, curators and viewers as possible.
How does an institution create a platform that supports artists and truly benefits the wider public?
“Participating in Inarticulate Landscapes was particularly beneficial in terms of showing the new work as it allowed me to consider it installed in a gallery context, and the team were very supportive of this. They were invested in terms of their relationship with me, something which is so important to an emerging artist.”
Kate Fahey, artist
Workshop Foundation has organised 20 exhibitions featuring a diverse group of over 80 artists and 10 curators. The exhibition demonstrate a great variety of subject matter and artistic medium, ranging from painting, sculpture, film, and installation and were accompanied by related free events, including studio dinners, performances and artist talks. Following their exposure here at the Foundation, artists have been able to progress their careers. Several artists have been approached for participation in future shows or projects, published in art review magazines and started courses or work elsewhere.
The artists we have supported include, Jelena Bulajic, the youngest artist in Charles Saatchi’s collection, Harrison Pearce, artist and lecturer with a Masters in Philosophy and Fine Art, Thomas Langley, Royal Academy of Arts, as well as established artists with worldwide reputation such as the Chapman Borthers, Jimmy Cauty, Alice Anderson, Mike Osterhout, Philippe Vanderberg, Jeff McMillan, Gavin Turk, Cedric Christie and Pascal Rousson.
We offer three artists per year the opportunity to enjoy access to our spectacular 700 sq ft open studio space for three months. Working above the gallery, the successful applicant is able to network with artists, curators, collectors and the wider public whilst visiting ongoing exhibitions and events organised in the gallery. The residency programme also provides guidance from gallery directors as well as an end of residency solo exhibition in the studio space upstairs. Past resident artists include Thomas Garnon, Emma Corrall, Thomas Langley, Morgan Wills, Harrison Pearce and Jose Carlos Naranjo. We have been excited and delighted to see our residents move on to solo shows, awards, and further residency programmes.
In 2018, we introduced a new intensive four-week residency programme. The Radical Residency is a biannual initiative inviting ten artists to use our main gallery space as a shared studio in order to create new works. An exchange with the public is fostered through visits and open studio days, culminating in a group exhibition. Past residents include Javier Torras Casas, Yu Ting Ong, Evy Jokhova, Eugene Macki, Paula Baader, Nemo Nonnenmacher, Ant Hamlyn, Julia Court and Diane Chappalley.
“I’m very grateful for the residency at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop. The Space is big, cosy and bright, but the best thing about it is the enriching experience of personal and professional growth, enabled by the team who made everything easier for me.”
José Carlos Naranjo, resident artist
Black Trunk of the Pharaoh
José Carlos Naranjo, resident Artist
Black Trunk of the Pharaon
Acknowledging the lack of available space in London, we open our the gallery to curator proposals. We encourage curators to present concepts that may not have found a platform otherwise and make use of our experimental, noncommercial environment. Cultural practioners are also invited to organise related events and opportunities to engage the public, including talks, film screenings, performances and dinners. Past Curators include Rowena Chiu, Bryan Reedy, Pascal Rousson and Cedric Christie (Corridor Projects), Julie Bentley (After) Tatiana Cheneviere and Giulia Vandelli.
In 2017, Meno Parkas gallery,Kaunas, Lithuania presented the prolific and respected artist Aušra Vaitkunien in our exhibition space. Workshop Foundation has a keen interest to cultivate relationships with international galleries and provide the opportunity to showcase their programmes. We see this initiative as a wonderful opportunity to grow our community globally and broaden our reach. Recent exchanges include Stacie McCormick solo photography exhibition, Hermione Allsopp 2018 exhibition, and current discussions with Meno Parkas to return to our London space.
“It was a pleasure to curate Beyond at Unit1 Gallery | Workshop, The space is unique and immaculately presented, and the team was professional and easy to work with.”
Rowena Chiu, curator
Workshop Foundation supports critical art writing practices and invites three resident writers per year. Striving to foster an academic exchange within our exhibition and residency programmes. Past collaborations include the Critical Writing in Art & Design Course at the Royal College of Art.
About the founder
Stacie McCormick, with her background in project management and marketing, has over 25 years of experience working in the arts internationally, both as a practising artist and currently as director of Workshop Foundation. From 2009-2014 she ran the non-profit art initiative Home Where Art Is in Charleston, SC, USA. Established out of a desire to remain engaged in the arts within a small, regional community, the initiative brought international artists to work and exhibit in Charleston for the public benefit. It encompassed a fully funded annual residency programme, providing accomodation and studio space, as well as a final exhibition.
Stacie holds a Masters degree in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School. Recent solo and group exhibitions of her work include In Search of Paintings, Meno Parkas, Kaunas, Lithuania (2017); The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (2017); EMPIRE II, 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and Chinese Open at Qpark Whitcomb, London (2017). Through these experiences, she has gained deep understanding of the challenges artists face today and built a strong international network of cultural practitioners.
“Through directlyconnecting to practicing artists there is a way for a broad community to profoundly engage with art by witnessing and understanding the process of its creation, which can truly enhance lives”
“When I was in the early stages of establishing my curatorial practice, Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop gave me an amazing opportunity to realise my potential to curate and present a world class art show. Stacie supported me through the whole process, from concept to final installation. The support that Workshop Foundation offers is very unique in the art world and was instrumental to my decision to open my own gallery space. I really hope that they can continue their invaluable work.”
Julie Bentley, curator
Time and Materials