THE REMOTE FOGO ISLAND, LOCATED IN THE Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, might be best known for its maritime past, but it is now getting recognition from the art world as a far-flung retreat for artists and creatives alike. It all started when Fogo Island Arts was established in 2008 as a residency-based contemporary art venue for artists in all mediums, from musicians to filmmakers to curators. The complex is made up of four studios, all built by architect and Newfoundland native Todd Saunders. The structures are held above ground by steel legs (raising the studios high above volcanic rock) and are made from local materials. While designing the buildings, Saunders focused on sustainability, installing solar-powered electrical systems and wood-burning stoves in each unit.
Artists come from all over the world to collaborate with other creators and the Fogo Island community, exhibiting their works at a gallery within the local inn, also designed and built by Saunders. Both the inn and the studio spaces are owned by Shorefast, a charitable program dedicated to promoting cultural and economic growth on the island. The organization has helped develop what was once just a small fishing village into a thriving arts community set within the rugged, natural beauty of its North Atlantic surroundings.