Founded in 2011 by Shane and Alison Heinemeier, Habitable Spaces is an artist residency on a working farm with ducks, geese, chickens, goats, rabbits and extensive gardens. Our purpose is to create an integrated, mutually beneficial environment where artists and the rural community can take classes, learn and share ideas. Most opportunities for artists lie in urban areas, creating an exodus of artists from small towns and rural landscapes. By creating an artist residency program in the tiny town of Kingsbury, Texas, Habitable Spaces integrates contemporary artists into a rural community. Both artists and the local community are given the opportunity to participate in a dialogue that emphasizes engagement with art concepts in the rural community and landscape itself, asking artists to consider problems of drought, climate change and urban expansion in their proposed projects.
Kingsbury is a small rural community between Austin and San Antonio. The town was founded in 1875, but only recently incorporated, and was formed in an effort to preserve our rural traditions from the urban expansion of nearby cities. Alison Heinemeier is one of Kingsbury's city commissioners, and when the city was formed, it was the first city in Texas to be created with an all female government. Kingsbury is a sleepy town of around 650 residents, with a series of historic buildings along the railroad tracks that look as if they haven't hanged since the days of the wild west. Many of the people out here are ranchers and farmers, but all of them are characters with a story to tell. Right next door to Habitable Spaces is the Kingsbury Aerodrome, a place that houses, stores, and flies beautiful planes that date from pre-WW II era. We also have the Kingsbury Opry, which is held on Friday nights, where local residents get on stage and sing and play music together.
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