About Turtle Studios

Turtle Studios is a democratic supportive artist community that nurtures art-making and creativity in a non-competitive environment.

Turtle Studios is an artist-run educational and cultural arts community, founded by artist and educator Kate Ransohoff. All of its activities are geared towards providing a place where people can make their own art. By experimenting with traditional and nontraditional materials, affiliate members and workshop participants experience the satisfactions and frustrations of creating art the way they want it to be, in accordance with their own values and aesthetics. While providing encouragement, technical help and guidance, coaches create a non-competitive environment in which people learn to recognize and appreciate the integrity and value of their own works, as well as that of others. We are a participatory democratic cooperative. Our existence as a studio derives from the belief that every person is a creator and that play liberates, illuminates and informs the creative spirit.


We share a belief in four fundamental principles:
Art making matters
The person matters
Meaning matters
Deep values matter

History and Founding Principles

The studio was founded in the early 1980s by artist and educator Kate Ransohoff who opened her Cambridge studio, called Roseland to a group of artists. The artists worked in a shared space, benefitting from seeing each others’ works in progress. The group grew and in 1985 moved to Morse Street in Watertown. In 2000, the artists relocated to Watertown, adopted the name Turtle Studios, incorporated and became a non-profit organization. In December 2014, Turtle Studios relocated to our current space in Newton.

Play, a cornerstone of the studio stemming from the Summerhill pedagogic tradition, allows exploration and opens up a creative seed. Play allows us an opportunity to suspend our habitual reality and step into a place where new possibilities, new directions abound. Play helps us enter a different brain state[N1] . We have many materials available for play in the studio.

We share four principles: art making matters, the person matters, meaning matters, and deep values matter.
We welcome people of all traditions, cultures, ages, and economic means, with or without prior art experience.
The artist community provides valuable support and encouragement as individuals pursue their own work.
The Turtle Studios library includes original writings by Kate Ransohoff and others about the studio and the founding philosophies of the studio.

” . . inside each of us there sits a most handsome creative seed bud . . . named Charley”
from Elijah’s Palace,

by Kate Ransohoff

Non-Profit Status[N2] 

Turtle Studios is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3, non-profit organization. As such, it is committed to providing educational and cultural benefit to the community. Donations are tax deductible and always appreciated. A copy of Turtle Studios by-laws can be found in the library. We have a scholarship fund to enable us to offer membership to as wide a variety of artists and writers as possible.

Programs include weekly and intensive art making workshops open to all, public events including exhibitions and artist nights, a resource library, and open studios.

You can help support these programs right now with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount is accepted.
Opportunities also exist for underwriting and sponsorship. You are welcome to inquire at