Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Hot Shops: Studio Envy
One of my favorite places to visit in Omaha, Nebraska is the Hot Shops Art Center. We happened to time our visit perfectly as the art center was hosting their 10th Annual Spring Open House last weekend.
Here's a description of the space from their website:
Bruning Sculpture, Hot Shops Pottery, and Crystal Forge make up the very heart of the Hot Shops Art Center, with the molten nature of their work giving it its “hot” name. We also house over 80 studio artists, as well as four gallery spaces, in our building complex located in downtown Omaha, just north of the new Qwest Center Omaha at the corner of 13th and Nicholas.
Here is a little history about the building:
In 1999 a group of established artist studios and interested investors purchased the old Serta Mattress Factory located just north of the Old Market area in Omaha, Nebraska. The Hot Shop Art Center is the first art center of its kind in the Omaha area. The Art Center includes the three anchor Hot Shops, 50 art studios, four art galleries, and many exhibition spaces.
The studio spaces, which occupy the four story structure of the two brick buildings, are available to artists of all disciplines. A place where artists can work and interact establishes an atmosphere for creative art discourse. This will not only be an energizing influence on development of art, it will ultimately create relationships with other artists fostering a sense of community. Hot Shops Market North occupies the one story warehouse building at the south end of the building complex. The artists of the four anchor studios use forges, welders and kilns to fabricate their art. Locating these "hot" shops in the same building space should be a hot combination.
I must admit I have a little studio envy when it comes to this space. Okay, enough yammering; time to get to the good stuff: the photos!
One of my favorite artists and spaces was the small studio space of Micah Clark. Graffiti style art and a teeny bit like Jesse Reno, but a bit rougher and not as polished.
All of the artists have arted up their doors to fit their personalities and often gives a taste of their art. Display areas are on the walls outside their studios so you can see their work even if they aren't in their studios.
Another favorite was Mike Rhoades. Mike's studio space was small, but divided into two distinct sections, the front, which was more for display, and the inner sanctum where he does his painting. He was kind enough to invite us in. Oh my. Lots of paint, and lots of stencils -- primarily BIG stencils that he scavenged from industrial uses, several from the forges located in another part of the building. It was spectacular. My mind is still reeling from stencil possibilities. A laundry basket, really?
I left feeling very inspired.