Archive for October, 2010

This has been the busiest October I can ever recall and it certainly has been a momentous one for Zoom Group’s StudioWorks program!  We started the month by beginning the retrofit at 2008 Eastern Parkway which will be our new home beginning in November.  The artists of StudioWorks should be proud of themselves!  Their artistic accomplishments have earned them a newer, better equipped, and spacious new studio and gallery.  South Fourth Street has been a great base for three years and so many nice artworks were created here along with the friendships and collaborations we prize so much.  Our old home, however, was feeling more than cramped and other artists that wanted to join our program needed to wait until space opened up.

Our last post showed our new space before renovations and improvements were made.  So much that needed to happen according to schedule fell into place through the hard work and dedication of many people.  Our contractors worked with us on a nice configuration and local designer friends contributed their expertise to choose colors and flooring that would be warm and welcoming.  When the proper time comes we will thank everybody that played a part in our move.  While events were winding down on Fourth Street…Eastern Parkway was in high gear.  Furniture that Susie and I had purchased from IKEA was laid out on the freshly painted floor.  Wonderful volunteers from United Parcel Service came to our space and assembled all the tables and chairs.

Here are some of the UPS volunteers in action.  They were a huge help and their contributions are deeply appreciated.  I think we even made some new friends along the way which is always a nice bonus!  In this image, Zoom Group’s Sallie Read and UPS staff member Stacie Linn share the experience of assembling chairs!

Of course, the last week of October also means Halloween.  At the old studio, Susie was holding down the fort and keeping our guys busy with making art and observing the holiday with small cupcake parties.  A few of the artists brought their costumes with them and here’s a picture of Brad Bohannon with his werewolf mask on.  He does a convincing wolf howl to boot!

Among the last drawings produced at the studio were a series of jack-o-lantern drawings and a few of them are also self-portraits.  Here’s Eric’s self-portrait …he’s imagined himself with bushier hair than he has!

Terry Bishop did this nice marker rendering of a jack-o-lantern, although I don’t think it is intended to be a self-portrait!

The StudioWorks artists are all anticipating the move and they had a chance to see the place right after Zoom Group signed the lease.  I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the positive changes that were made.  With me filling up boxes, our last week in the studio had more than its share of distractions.  We did participate in a couple other activities.  Our artists returned to Glassworks to make a ornaments for the upcoming holiday season.  And we learned that a contest eleven of our artists entered locally was a big success for us!  The Center for Accessible Living sponsored the competitive juried exhibition and every piece the StudioWorks artists entered was accepted!  Most all of our guys won prizes too…but I will save that for a future post!  It is a nice reflection of the success we have been having lately.

This may be one of the last images of the 4th Street studio and gallery I publish on this blog.  When I asked David Mahoney for his favorite memory of our old studio, he said it was the day they moved into this space.  I’m hoping he will feel similarly when he crosses the threshold at our new location.  To end this post and on top of everything else that has been going on…Zoom Group had their annual picnic at the Calvin Presbyterian Church on Saturday.  This church is also the home of one of Zoom Group’s day programs and it was nice to see the agency gathered here.  Among the many events within the event included a costume contest, a talent show, an award ceremony, the ever popular cake walk, and then there’s the barbecue!

The picnic was held inside the church’s gymnasium.  Several hundred members of the Zoom Group family along with friends and relatives enjoyed the festivities.  The event also honors clients for their long-term service and employment to Zoom Group.  Framed certificates were handed out and most of the honored have been with the agency for ten or twenty years!  Here’s an image of Sheriff Greg Gatewood, (he does so much to pull this event off) sitting next to the table with the award certificates.  Among the StudioWorks artists, Eric, Julie, and Dorcas were honored for their decade’s worth of service.

By far the most popular activity at the picnic is the cake walk.  In short, it’s like a game of musical chairs, except the participants walk a sidewalk course that has numbered squares drawn on it.  Music is played and the people walk the course.  Once the music stops, a number is pulled from the plastic pumpkin and if you are standing on that numbered square…you win a cake or box of cookies.  For years, Kroger has been a great sponsor of this event and picnic. 

Dorcas was dressed up as a scarecrow and went along the course.  Fellow StudioWorks artist Nancy had success and had her number called.  Here she is choosing a prize from the many that were on hand!  By the end of the cake walk, all the baked goods were gone.

We will be opening the new space on November 1.  We have new artists and staff that will be joining us and I can’t wait to tell you about them!  Zoom Group will have a formal opening for StudioWorks’ 2008 Eastern Parkway location on December 4 which corresponds with Bardstown Road Aglow kicking off the beginning of the holiday season.  We are sure to have a nice crowd for that.  In the meantime, we have a month to unpack, get settled, and make more art to sell.  I am going to end this post with a photograph of two self-portrait pastel drawings that Julie made and attached to the door of our old South 4th Street location.  As the day was ending, the sun was setting on them.  Our next post, will be from the new and improved StudioWorks location.  To everybody who have helped make this program a success…you have our sincerest Thank You!!

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It’s been a couple of years in the making and now we are excited to say that we will be moving our studio to a bigger space and new community!  Zoom Group has recently signed the lease and we have all been engaged in making this a reality.  The new StudioWorks location is 2008 Eastern Parkway here in Louisville and if you are familiar with our city…well, the Highlands Neighborhood is one of the key cultural attractions.  We should fit in really well among the specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, parks, and for our artists…this will be a great new place to explore.

What will be immediately apparent is how much more space we will have.  Our current 4th Street studio/gallery is about 1100 square feet and the new space is 4600 square feet!  Other artists have wanted to join us, but our old space simply didn’t have the room to grow.  Zoom Group really believes in the value of our program and is making a significant investment in this new space.  We will be able to offer off-street parking which will allow our artists and their rides to come and go easily and in a more relaxed manner.  The main area in the above photo will be for the artists to make their work.  Tables and chairs will be set up on this floor after it is painted.  Already much work has progressed on this space and these images represent the raw state we have begun with which doesn’t need as much renovation as other spaces we considered.

Our front door will be on the Eastern Parkway side of the building.  This is where the general public will enter and immediately step into the gallery area shown above.  There is nice light that comes from extensive track lighting and from natural sources as well.  We are so looking forward to showing what we can do and make here!

Among the special areas the new studio will have is a media center where we can feature more photography offerings.  We will have a dedicated computer and printer here as well as big screen television for showing educational art videos.  It will be a relaxed, home library- type of setting.  Already an access ramp has been built and throughout this space, safety for our clients is a primary concern.  The pre-existing slope in the above photo leads to a large sliding door…

…which opens onto a store front window and space that faces Bardstown Road!  The intersection between Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road is among the most traveled ones in the city.  This area is also highly accessible through the city’s bus line.  Our new space will also feature two bathrooms, a kitchen, office space, storage, and a ceramic area!  Here’s the area we will develop for our clay projects.

The  floor will receive new tile and a special room to house our kiln will be built.  It’s going to be nice to have the kiln on site!  This space adjoins the kitchen and is in the rear of the building.  A large and working garage door opens up the space even more.  Originally, this building was used as an automobile show room back in the 1940’s, but we will look further into its history as we also become a part of it.  This is a prime location and will help us continue our mission of involving our clients with the community.  We are welcoming referrals for people with developmental disabilities who are looking for a wonderful program in which to make, exhibit, and sell their art.  Of course, StudioWorks will be open to the public and we are looking at having a grand opening on December 4, which coincides with Bardstown Road Aglow which kicks off the Christmas Holiday season here.  I will feature more images as the space takes further shape, but to end, here is a view from across Bardstown Road.  Most recently, this space was used as a contemporary furniture store…so imagine the silver sign reading StudioWorks by Zoom Group and you will have it!  More later!!

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