The reality of having my own art studio/storefront is quickly becoming a reality! Many of you know what my vision is and that I have dreamt of this for quite a long time. For those of you who don't quite yet understand where I am trying to go, please let me explain:
I'd like to open an art studio/boutique. My goal is to provide children and young adults with a safe and fun space in which they are allowed and encouraged to express themselves. I'd like to offer classes that are affordable (or better yet free!) and have an open area where everyone is given the support to be successful. Although there will be plenty of opportunities for all ages, one of my passions is helping the youth of our community to grow and expand their reach beyond our small town. This is why, along with other handmade artists, I would like to allow these young adults to sell their items in my storefront. Ideally, by allowing them to do so they will learn valuable life skills (such as responsibility, money management and relationship development) along with being able to generate a small income (college fund anyone?) that will allow them to get a step-up in our community.
The storefront will also be a good way to show our youth that following your passion is worthwhile and to allow them to have visible role-models. It will also enable me to further support our community. I plan to feature a variety of artists (mostly local) in a wide range of fields. I hope that one day some of the artists will serve as mentors and positive role-models to our youth. I believe that by supporting our handmade artists, we are not only supporting our local economy but also stimulating a positive environment for our younger generations to grow up in.
Ideally, it'll be an open floor plan with a couple large tables, a small kid-friendly area and a small storefront. If there's space I'll add a sectioned off area for my metalsmithing studio. Classes and activities will range anywhere from jewelry-making (that's my forte!) to yoga and everything in between. I would love to have open mic's, mini craft fairs and lots of open studio time. I believe that anything that makes a person engage their creativity and feel passionate is an art and that developing this in our community will only make us better as a whole.
Right now, everything is moving very, very quickly. If you'd like to contribute anything at all (time, furnishings, displays, your handmade goods, your teaching expertise, anything helps!) or just like the idea of what I'm trying to do please let me know! Every kind word counts. This is all a little scary for me, I don't normally put myself out there like this. However, I know that in order to make this happen it'll take the support of my community behind me. Thank you!
In short: A safe, creative space in our community for all ages to gather and grow together.