AF: I wanted to ask you—before we turned the recorder on, you told me a little bit about some of the other studio spaces that you had around the city.
AF: Would you be willing to talk a little bit about that?
PM: When I first arrived, the big choice of finding a studio—one of my friends from Yale, Michael Economos, had a studio in 206 West Franklin [Street], which is between Howard [Street] and Park [Avenue]. I saw that there was space available under him, so that’s where I first got a studio. I had that studio from 1966… I had that thirteen years as far as I remember.
Then I actually moved my studio from 206 to across the street, and I even forget the number, but it was a studio over a liquor store. The artist before me in that place was Israel Hirschberg. He was teaching at the Institute, but then he left. Eventually, he went to Jerusalem and started the Jerusalem Art School, which is still going. It’s very active.
So anyway, I was there seven more years. And then I had to leave and I had to pack all my stuff up. I was looking for a space, so I packed all my stuff up and Howie Weiss allowed me to store my belongings in the loft that he was renting.
Then I had a heart attack and a bypass. During that time, I was able to sublet a large room in the present loft I’m in. And I subletted that from Dan Gorski. So we have to kind of go slow here, because this actually includes a lot of the Cork Factory history. I will say that it was the easiest move I ever made, because all my stuff was packed up and I had my assistant at MICA help me out. He and another person rented a truck and moved all my stuff. I didn’t have to lift a finger.
PM: Meanwhile, Dan Gorski made painting racks for me, according to my design. Dan Gorski, at that time, was chairman of painting at the Maryland Institute. So I’m not sure exactly when he first got this space that we’re in. This space is divided into three rooms. And remember, I was only subletting the first room. All my belongings, all my paintings fit into that, and I still had good space to work. And then Dan eventually left to take the directorship of the [Wade Wilson Art] in Houston, Texas. So he went there as a director. And I took over the whole space.
Eventually, as you probably have heard, all the inhabitants, or a number of us bought into the spaces. So, obviously, for the next ten years we were paying a mortgage. That was eight years ago and we’ve been here since.