“Where social justice meets art”
ABOUT SKARIE STUDIOSSKARIE Studios—formerly Open Studio DC— is artist Carolyn Hartmann’s screenprinting studio and collaborative venture in Baltimore, MD. While SKARIE Studios is primarily home to Hartmann’s creative practice. It’s also a collaborative partner to NoMüNoMü, an intersectional artist collective.
While operating in DC, the studio evolved to include social change work, collaborating with a variety of local activists and artists using printmaking. This work is continuing in Baltimore through SKARIE’s partnership with NoMüNoMü.
ABOUT CAROLYN HARTMANN
I'm fortunate to have a variety of passions that keep me moving forward: Social change work and art are at the top of the list. Skarie Studio is an effort to bring these two passions together in one place.
I spent the first dozen or so years after law school working as an advocate at a few environmental nonprofits in Washington, D.C. After more than a decade of this work, with political divisiveness increasing, and while also trying to raise two children, I was burnt out. I decided to take a break. I initially got back to making art just for fun. Over time, it became my second career.
I helped run the printmaking studio and taught screenprinting at the Corcoran College of Art and Design for 7 years. In 2009, I opened my own printmaking studio: Open Studio DC. Initially, Open Studio DC was a screenprinting studio where I offered classes and space so printmakers could learn and create. We also held a few shows designed to support printmakers.
As time moved forward, we began to attract more and more artists engaged in social change work. The medium lends itself to amplifying the voices of activists. We held art shows with the intention of providing a platform for underrepresented voices. After setting up two different studios in DC, and losing both of the leases to gentrification, I decided to move somewhere that I could own the building and try to create something sustainable.
Baltimore has become our new home. COVID-19 has slowed things down, but in some ways that time has hopefully made us more thoughtful about the process of coming into a new community.
Moving to Baltimore, the studio needed a new name and a change in focus. The building I bought has a huge sign out front that says, “Skarie.” This was the family name of the building owners going back over half a century. I figured that no matter what we called the space, people would refer to it as the Skarie building, so we changed the name to Skarie Studio. (It fits because what we're trying to do is a bit scary.)
Joining art and social change work, and trying to create a radically new way for artists to work, is a scary undertaking. There aren't many models to follow. We’re making it up as we go along. We'll try things and fail, and we'll try other things that will work. As we fight for justice in our world, we must model justice in our space. This means that artists must be valued and compensated up front. This means that everyone who enters or touches the space is treated with respect and care. And this means that we will work to uplift artists and members of our community and try to support their vision.
To do this work, Skarie Studio joins in partnership with NoMüNoMü.
Learn more about our collaboration here.