HISTORY BEHIND THE COTTAGE STUDIO
The Cottage Studio is an innovative gathering space for individuals recovering from mental illness wishing to express their artistic talent.
The Cottage Studio developed from an idea proposed in 1993 by family of current Cottage Studio members. They believed that people recovering from mental health should have a safe space to meet and share their passion for artistic expression. Space was advocated in partnership with St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in the adjacent cottage building. Hence the name "Cottage Studio" originated. The popularity of this initiative outgrew its limited space and was transferred to the lower level of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church to accomodate growing membership.
As interest and membership continued to grow, members expressed a dream of having their own studio space — a place to call their own. This dream became a reality with the help of the Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia Family Association. A proposal was put forth whereby a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation was awarded for the development of the new gallery space known as the Cottage Studio.
Once the home of the first custodian of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, the Cottage Studio is now Ontario's first one of a kind art gallery for individuals recovering from mental illness.
"The Cottage Studio is an immportant part of the community. It has given wings to fellow artists to allow them to grow and develop" as expressed by one of the Cottage Studio facilitators.
On May 8, 2007 doors were officially opened to introduce the Cottage Studio to the Hamilton community. Since its opening membership has significantly grown. Members now have a place where they can feel free to be inspired and inspire others. They can share hopes and dreams through artistic expression.
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