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It is hard not to be inspired by the new space. Flooded in natural light, the spacious studio features a mix of open and closed cabinetry filled with all the supplies one could ever want. Skeins of yarn are artfully stowed by hue in diamond-shaped cubes. Stacks of colorful paper sit neatly on narrow shelves waiting to be stamped, snipped and folded. Cupboards and drawers store essential tools like paint, pens, and pencils out of sight while an exhibit wall displays the latest creations ready to be admired and purchased.
“Art is for everyone,” said Cathy Bryan, Creative Arts and Art Therapy Program Coordinator. “The goal of the renovation was to make a beautiful and accessible studio that encourages residents to come together and create.” Cathy worked directly with the design team to reconfigure the floorplan to better meet the needs of residents at all levels of independence.
Functional zones with multipurpose storage cabinets border the room. Pullout drawers provide effortless access to the most frequently used items. A wheelchair accessible sink eases clean-up, and a wall-mounted drying rack allows paintings to dry flat and out of harm’s way. An entire cabinet is dedicated to jewelry making, and a sewing station keeps notions within arm’s reach. A kiln is tucked into a back corner, and nearby open shelves hold works of pottery in progress.
More than a dozen large tables on casters fill the center of the room. The tables can be easily raised or lowered to fit anyone or pushed together to accommodate any size project. Once installed, a camera system will enable residents to learn new techniques and view demonstrations on a large wall-mounted television screen instead of crowding around a table. A hands-free microphone will allow instructors to easily interact with artists and give instructions while moving around the space.
The new studio can comfortably accommodate more than two dozen artists at any one time. A private office with a glass door offers Cathy Bryan an unobstructed view of all the activity. “We are extremely grateful for George’s generous support of our vision,” said Cathy. “This gift is a wonderful tribute to Audra. The studio will carry on her legacy of inspiring people to tap into and find their creative talent.”