Studio 212 promotes arts in Maryville
By Linda Braden Albert | (email@example.com)
A new venue for established artists and those aspiring to tap into their own creativity through lessons from experts is ready for business in downtown Maryville. Studio 212, with a physical address of 217 E. Broadway Ave., is located in the building’s lower level facing East Harper Avenue near The Daily Times.
Owned by Leanne Moe, Studio 212 is a working pottery offering classes for children, teens and adults. The studio specializes in teaching wheel-thrown pottery and handbuilding for all levels of experience. In addition, work space is available for other artists — including Robin Bailey and Stacey Austin-Heil —interested in working with other artists and needing space to set up a small studio away from the distractions of home. Moe said any other local artists who would like to rent space in the studio are welcome to contact her for information.
“We’re looking for submissions for work that we’ll jury in,” she said. “We’ll have five or six working artists in here.”
Items from Moe, Bailey and Austin-Heil are for sale in the retail space of the studio as well as metalwork by Aaron Oliver and oil paintings by Katie Gamble.
Bailey, an artist focusing on paint and mixed media, sells refurbished old jewelry boxes she calls “tinker boxes” at The Village Tinker, 417 W. Broadway. She takes the pieces apart, paints them and then uses a distressing technique to add even more interest. She plans to offer a class on making the tinker boxes on Oct. 6.
“I’m really excited to be in Leanne’s studio on the front end, because when I saw it for the first time, it looked like a really super cool thing to me,” Bailey said. She may be best known in the community as musician Robinella.
Austin-Heil, who creates paintings, prints and graphic design, teaches Tipsy Brush classes. Moe said, “This is a bring-your-own-drink and painting class. We’re doing both acrylic classes and oil classes. You bring your own cocktails with your friends and they come and create a painting. The next one we’ll be doing on Sept. 8 is ‘Bird on a Wire.’”
Austin-Heil said the classes, open to both men and women, have had a fabulous response. She uses acrylic paints, while Katie Gamble uses oils. A schedule for several upcoming classes is posted on the website, http://Studio212Arts.com .
A recent class was a mixed-media project centered around a beer tasting event in conjunction with The Market at Washington and High. Participants created a large piece of artwork using paint and the labels from the different beers offered for sampling.
Austin-Heil has been painting for 15 years. Creating something at a beginner level has been both challenging and fun for her.
“I do the paintings, and I time myself whenever I do it so I know that I have enough time to teach it and talk to (students),” she said. The goal is to make each person feel proud of what they created. “That’s the main part. We want them to leave and say, ‘Look what I did! I can’t believe it!’”
In the pottery area, Moe, a potter and ceramics teacher, offers instruction for children, teens and adults.
“We’ve got kids’ classes on Saturday mornings and teens and adults on Thursdays, and also another adults class on Thursdays,” Moe said. “We work in six-month sessions. We work primarily on the wheel with the teens and adults, and then we do kids’ handbuilding classes.
“One of my favorite things is getting people in c lass who have never touched clay before or never worked on the wheel before, and just watching that first interaction. We have people who come in on week one and say, ‘Oh, I don’t know about this,’ and after six weeks, creating something like that,” she said, gesturing toward shelving holding projects waiting for glaze. All glazing and firing is done at the studio.
Studio 212 is meant to be a gathering place where artists of any or no experience can safely share ideas and explore their creativity.
Moe said, “We don’t want to have an intimidating atmosphere here when you come in the door. We meet a lot of people who say, ‘I can’t do that,’ or ‘I can’t create that.’ We want this to be a place that’s open to the community, where people can come in and feel good about the artwork they produce.”
When people come to the classes, they soon relax and begin talking about what they like in their paintings and ask questions of other participants and the teachers about how they achieved a particular look.
Austin-Heil said she and Bailey do this, as well. “That’s why we are looking forward to other artists coming down here. You feed off each other’s creativity. We’re here to share and to grow as an artist community.”
Moe’s studio was in a smaller location originally. She said she was pleased when the new, larger space became available and the additional opportunities it affords to promote the arts in downtown Maryville.
“It’s just a really nice interaction to work together,” she said. “It’s nice to have that communication between each other. I think we’re all going to grow as artists also, all working together.”