SQUAM RIVER STUDIOS has been carved out of and reclaimed from an early 20th Century building at the Southern end of the Squam River in Ashland, New Hampshire. The bank building was purchased in November, 2012 and renovations were completed in the middle of April, 2013. The building features 3.5 floors- each offering a different aspect to the studio. In the upstairs apartment is a photography studio, conference area for client meetings and other spaces available for visiting artists. The second and main floor is the showroom and office. The lower half level is home to the kilns and the lower floor is the working studio space, complete with sandblasting booth, dark room and screen washing area. The renovation of the building was nothing short of remarkable. When the community bank shut its doors, the building was purchased by a doctor and was converted into his offices. The rooms were broken into individual examination rooms and stations. The beautiful bank vault door and many of the walls were encased in sheetrock and multiple drop ceilings were installed. When the demolition began, more of the beautiful brick walls were exposed and delightfully, so was the original tin ceiling. Attention to detail and history have transformed the building into a showcase of craftmanship. The lighting of the original outside vault light was a day of excitement as it marked the beginning of a new era of artistry in the building.
For the majority of its existence, the building served as the town's savings bank. With its vault, safe, and alarm still intact, the roots of this building are forever present, and have been fully embraced in the restoration and repurposing of this unique space. Though no longer a financial institution, its new incarnation will surely serve the arts community in a very similar capacity, in that it safely holds deposits and makes investments in talent, creativity and innovation, and continually seeks to be a place of exchange for inspiration, exploration, vision and artistry.
We are very proud of all the hard work that went into the restoration of this beautiful old building. We are also very grateful to all the talented and committed people who helped to make it happen.