To challenge dominant pedagogies and curricula found throughout higher and continuing education and develop a truly liberal arts space where freedom is explored through critical discourse and camaraderie, fully developing an equitable, open and democratic society for all.
Build radical community education focused on studio art practice and build ethical and sustainable models both internally in our workspaces and externally throughout our communities.
studioELL LLC is an artist-run social enterprise based in Eastern Connecticut. studioELL is a hybrid learning space that offers courses and residencies — both in-person and online — devoted to studio art practice. Part critique and part studio visit, studioELL intentionally fuses elements of higher education and continuing education to reconsider the possibilities within learning and support found in community education.
In April 2021, studioELL became fiscally sponsored through Fractured Atlas in the hopes of expanding our grant research and funding opportunities and becoming more financially sustainable. Since our inception in August 2015, studioELL has been a cultural hub for artists, hosting over 40 courses, running numerous events, and supporting over 250 talented artists. We have collaborated with instructors and artists across the globe and provided over $15,000 in scholarship funding. We will continue to connect with artists to offer scholarships for those most in need. We continue to look for partnering community organizations and groups to provide further points of access and agency.
WHO WE ARE
We encourage critical thinking and civic action through art. We compel students, artists, academic institutions, galleries and museums to question how art is made, taught and how it can be disseminated for the benefit of all. We are a growing, evolving entity and look to each other and our communities to challenge our ideas. We blur the lines between fine art and the everyday inundation of cultural content omnipresent in the visual experiences around us.
We are artists and everyday citizens. We believe art belongs to all, not a few. We appreciate that to be part of a meaningful democracy is to be an informed and active participant in the processes that affect our day to day. We contribute to an active and lively cultural identity that is free from corporate sponsorship or funding restraints.
WHAT WE DO
studioELL radicalizes learning and builds support networks within the studio practice by challenging institutional ways of thinking, co-opting the languageing of these more traditional educational spaces, constructing new communal spaces for critique and development and creating systems of mutual support centered around art practice. Operating out of Eastern Connecticut, studioELL’s reach is national and international, with a focus on local solutions and community-building in the places enrolled artists and professors live and work. Though New England is the current base of activity, our professors and student-artists act as stewards, building and extending the reach of studioELL through programming and connections to other artistic communities. This organic expansion is multilayered and synchronistic in its evolution. Asynchronous studio classrooms allow for more freedom; our residency-style approach keeps artists focused on their practice as they engage in critical discourse while staying connected to their everyday life. studioELL creates a sustainable system both inside and outside the studio.
Artistic, creative and intellectual impact is continual as we support artists within their own unique practices and further develop ideas in a safe and nurturing environment. Communal impact grows as we connect people from different backgrounds, cities, states, countries, education levels, etc. Civic and social impact is essential. It is our goal to shift pedagogical ideologies within academic and institutional spaces, but also to bring these sensibilities to democratic spaces of understanding — like libraries and community centers — reaching a wider audience and elevating discussions around creative and cultural capital as a means of bringing people together and discussing difficult issues.
With the number of sustainable options at a minimum, the increased cost of higher education and the continued reduction of arts funding, it is now more important than ever for a community support structure like studioELL to help fill the void. For six years studioELL has traveled across three continents with the easy dexterity of a hybrid digital-physical platform and is positioned to evolve and reimagine lifelong learning in the fine arts.
studioELL was founded in the summer of 2015 in London, UK as part of galleryELL; a transient gallery created in 2008 in Brooklyn, New York, by artist, curator and professor, John Ros. galleryELL was created with the idea that though we understood the current art culture in New York, and though we existed within its framework, we also considered ourselves to be offering something new and exciting to the disenfranchised and marginalized artists of New York City. galleryELL ended its programming in 2016 and studioELL took the helm with a focus on education: challenging dominant pedagogies and establishing new models of education to create an infrastructure of community education focused on studio practice bolstered by an artist support network. In 2021, studioELL became studioELL LLC. In 2024 studioELL moved its offices to Eastern Connecticut. Also In 2024, studioELL became a registered trademark.
In architecture, an ell is an extension or addition to an existing building at a right angle; though part of the original structure, it is defined and distinct from it. An ell is also a measurement taken with the body; the former English unit of length for cloth (equal to approximately 45 inches, the breadth of one’s arms), without tools; it is self-contained and self-reliant. The self-reliance of the ell serves as a touchstone for all we do.
WHY NO SOCIAL MEDIA?
studioELL chooses not to engage with social media platforms as a deliberate stance against corporate control and censorship. We believe creatives should have ownership over all intellectual property, including digital files —all corporate social media companies own your uploaded files. studioELL believes this contradicts the essence of creative work, as we firmly advocate for compensation not only for our intellectual creations but all of our creative labor.
We reject the notion of being instruments that feed algorithms designed for corporate profit. We refuse to relinquish power over what is viewed and what may be censored due to corporate whims or societal fickleness. By abstaining from social media, we reclaim autonomy over our creative labor and resist contributing to the corporate agenda that undermines genuine discourse.