So, I’ve been hinting all summer and into the fall that I had big news coming up… and technically, the announcement here was supposed to be yesterday, but the last week has been… well, “insane” is probably the perfect word.
So is “busy.” Because it’s been busy.
More than six months ago, I signed up for a class with the incomparable Richard Salley, towards whom I have had an artistic infatuation for several years. That class was this past weekend and to heck with “busy” or “insane” or whatever, because there was NO WAY I was missing the class.
And it was worth every minute. As enamored as I have been of Richard and his work, I was completely blindsided by the deep personal and artistic connection I made with his assistant and teaching partner, Jessica Jordan (aka Rosy Revolver). She’s special, and will be part of my life forever – both personally and as an artist.
I promise to write more about the workshop soon, but it isn’t the big news so it will have to wait.
The big news is….
… OK, first some context.
Almost two years ago, I had the great pleasure of meeting Gail Stouffer of Wired Designs Studios. (Thanks Kate McKinnon!) She became a mentor to me, and has been responsible for significant growth in both my personal and artistic lives, especially after I began to work for her as an instructor at Wired. Being at Wired has been a hugely satisfying thing for me, and her guidance, support and encouragement has been a big deal.
Well, earlier this summer, she and her business partner made the difficult decision to close Wired after 10 years. It wasn’t that things were going poorly – they weren’t – but they owned another business that was taking up a lot of their time and focus, and frankly the effort required to keep up the retail side of things at Wired took time and energy that Gail really wanted to invest in teaching and creating. Shortly after making the decision, she was introduced to an old building that seemed nearly perfect for the kind of studio gallery she wanted to launch – and she approached me about joining her and her friend Lisa Meyer in the endeavor.
I said yes.
We open officially in mid-January, with our grand opening scheduled for February 7. It’s going to become the primary studio workspace for the three of us, which is exciting from a collaborative and creative energy perspective, and we’ll be offering regional artists the opportunity to have their work in our gallery on a co-op consignment basis. The big thing, though, will be the teaching – we’re broadening the workshops to embrace more than just metal and glass, and we couldn’t be more excited. No retail, no product promotion, just teaching and making.
The last few months have been about finalizing our business and marketing plans, trying to craft a thoughtful workshop schedule for the first half of 2014, and taking care of the all the administrative minutiae that accompanies a venture like this: website, business licenses, space renovations, setting up the books… busy. Insane. Exciting. Hard. All of the above. (And a big thanks to our husbands, who have been doing extraordinary work to get the space ready for us! They all rock!!)
So, the big news: I’m partnering with two good friends and amazing artists to open a working art studio and gallery. Nick and I are all in – we don’t have many resources at this stage in our lives and the last number of years have been hard. But we believe this is what we’re meant to do and so we’re doing it. We’re nearly ready to put the house on the market – shooting for just after the first of the year – and we’re beginning to reorganize our lives to be smaller and more focused on the things that make the best use of…. us. Our own best and highest good use.
I owe a huge apology and thank you to my partners over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog for having been so MIA all summer – they’ve been generous and kind and supportive beyond anything I deserve. In fact, I had a post due this morning, but the new Roadhouse site went down last night just before we were getting ready to send out our announcement by e-mail and I was up until after midnight fixing the stuff I screwed up. Their grace and friendship are humbling and I’m incredibly grateful to be part of the team. A huge thanks also to Daniel Espinoza of Grow Development and Life With a Mission, my friend and church brother, who is endlessly patient with my technical questions about web development and generous with his time and resources when I inevitably press the wrong button and send things out into the ether that I really needed to stay put. His good humor has saved my sanity during the last week.
That’s it. Big changes. Exciting changes. An art studio.