Voices from Inside the Studio: The Right to Visitation and Property

May 16, 2019 By christea-parent

Our rights focus for April at the Chicago studio is on the right to visitation and the right to personal property.

At Arts of Life, artists have the right to have friends, family, persons from the community, or advocates visit them at the studio.  They also have the right to work with their fellow artists to choose places to visit in the community.

The right to visitation is very important to artist Susan Pasowicz, who has a lot of meetings at the studio.  “So far I got a nurse coming over and a social worker to come see me at the studio.  I like it better that way.”

Susan also exercises her rights by visiting her mother every weekend.  “I see my mom Saturday and Sunday. “  It’s important to Susan to be able to see her mother often, even if that means sacrificing her weekends.  “[My home staff] tried to tell me not to go over so much, but I told them she’s my mom and I got a right to visit her.  What if something happened?  Nobody would know about it”.

Everyone at Arts of Life also has a right to personal property at work.  Artists are provided with their own workstation, and have the choice to bring in their own items if they choose to do so.  If there are items that they want or need, they can collaborate with staff to work towards having them.

Artist Bill Lilly likes to have a lot of personal items to work.  “I got my CDs, my Walkman, my sunglasses, my big bag”.  Music is important to Bill and he listens to his CDs on the ride to and from work every morning.  Like some other artists, he keeps a personal stash of art supplies from home as well – a large container of permanent markers.

Artist Bill Lilly sits at his workstation. Photo by Karissa Barney Reckling.

Bill also understands and appreciates our responsibilities towards each other regarding personal property: “No one’s gonna touch my stuff.  I don’t touch theirs, they don’t touch mine.”  We as a community remind each other to please ask before touching other peoples’ property, and that we are responsible for our own things.

We have responsibilities around our right to visitation as well – rather than asking for permission, we give a heads up to each other when we have a visitor, so the community knows to expect someone.  We make sure that our visitor treats the community and the studio with respect while they are here.

Stay tuned for more rights next month!