Tracey Emin’s New Year’s Resolution Is to Found Her Own Art School in Margate (No Smoking or Loud Music Allowed)


Tracey Emin has bigger new year’s plans than any of us.

The artist, who recently got over a cancer scare, now wants to transform the British seaside town of Margate into a haven for artists with an art school, residency program, and a “mini-museum” dedicated to her work.

In an interview with the Times, Emin revealed that she has purchased a former mortuary that she wants to redesign into 30 studios for art students enrolled in a new program she plans to create.

“People will have to apply, and there’ll be really strict rules,” she told the Times. “No subletting, no smoking, no loud music.”

As part of the program, the school, to be called TKE Studios for her own name (Tracey Karima Emin), will regularly demand that students put their work on public view.

“So there’s like this constant intellectual rigor,” she said. “People can’t just be passive.”

Tracey Emin Studio. Photo by Carlos Dominguez Photography.

Emin also wants to encourage working artists to permanently move to Margate—where she grew up, and to where she returned after the death of her mother—through a residency program.

For three or four months at a time, she wants to host artists whom she hopes will fall in love with the city and decide to stay.

“So it’s organically making the place right for the right people,” she said.

Last year, Emin told Artnet News that her vision for Margate was inspired by Donald Judd’s transformation of Marfa from a small ranching town into a mecca for visual art.

“If you go somewhere and see his works displayed really crappily or in these stupid ways, you feel a bit disappointed, but when you go to Marfa, there’s no mistakes,” she said about Judd. “It’s all exactly how he wanted things to be seen.”

Having settled in Margate, she now expects that, upon her death, her properties will be turned into a museum to house her work and her extensive archive of 30,000 photographs, 2,000 works on paper, 500 framed drawings, and books that will form a research library.

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