Tag Archives: artists

Just Creative People

Find your creative inspiration at Studio Six!

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Grace Brian (left) and Maggie Perrin-Key (right) met in November 2017. They connected immediately, and decided to open an art space together, Studio Six, located in The Aurora Studio Center in Downtown Roanoke. Their serendipitous meeting led them to realize that they had the same vision for an art space that welcomed creative people within the community through workshops and portfolio consultations. The artists complement one other, creating a fulfilling and nourishing space where their talents flourish.  

(Grace and Maggie photo by www.paigelucasphotography.com )

Both Grace and Maggie began developing their crafts at a young age. Grace received a sewing machine at age 10, and Maggie started oil painting during a summer camp in fourth grade. In her early years, Grace never considered fashion design as a career option. While planning for college, she didn’t think of it as something she wanted to pursue. After attending Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCU) for a while, she went back to sewing and found that the stigma she had originally attached to fashion design kept her from seeing the bigger picture. More importantly, sewing made her happy. She decided to transfer to the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, where she became interested in sustainability within the textile industry. 

As a young adult, Maggie continued her pursuit of the arts. First at VCU, and then at Hollins University. At Hollins, she studied printmaking, bookbinding, and papermaking. She also began exploring fiber art and textiles. 

“Coming from somewhere that was so arts-centered, I didn’t realize how important it was to have so much support for studying the arts. Originally, Maggie and I wanted to make a place where anybody, specifically young adults who are looking to pursue a career in the arts, can come and get that support. Guidance is important because a lot of people get to the art school application and they need a portfolio and they haven’t been working on one, don’t know what to do, or don’t know how to photograph their art,” explains Grace.

That initial idea morphed into something bigger, however, when the two decided to offer workshops within their space. The workshops have taken off, and with their success, Grace and Maggie have expanded their vision.

“I wanted an art space that was not as daunting and was more on community level where young people felt like they could come and hang out with us or make something,” says Maggie.

“There is a human desire to create things. It’s rewarding and confidence-boosting when you see something that you made. We want to be that outlet that gives people that opportunity. To be able to make something and create something gives you power and knowledge. In addition to knowing you can now do this, you will also know what goes into a painting the next time you see it. Consumer education is so important to me, so I think that when we are talking about the arts, this is consumer education in a way,” Grace adds.

Grace and Maggie offer portfolio consultation and open studio opportunities throughout the year. They also host popular workshops including Zodiac Embroidery, DIY Pom Pom Wall Hangings, Live Model Figure Drawing and so much more. Visit their Facebook page (@studiosixroanoke), Instagram (@studiosixroanoke), or visit their website at www.studiosixroanoke.com for more information on upcoming workshops and events!

Open Studios Artist: Meridith Brehmer Entingh

Meridith Bremer Entingh developed a fascination with textiles when she was very young. She started knitting at age seven, and continued to explore the things she could do with fiber. In the 60s and 70s, she worked with embroidery, macrame, and needlepoint. Under the guidance of her father, she switched her major from textiles to business in college, but she never lost her love for working with fiber.

“In the mid-1990s, I became friends with a wonderful weaver, Jane Kinzler Anthony. She had a studio in her basement where she wove beautiful tapestries she sold as office art, as well as functional weaving,” Meridith recalls. “Just seeing what she wove inspired me.” Meridith began taking classes at an arts studio in Old Town Alexandria, and volunteered to work in their yarn shop. She purchased her first loom within the year.

How long have you lived in Roanoke?
We moved here 11 years ago. Part of the criteria for purchasing our home was that there be a room for my weaving studio. Our house has this great little room, 11×11 with built-in cupboards. There was room for my loom and plenty of storage. I quickly outgrew the room with the purchase of my second floor loom in 2007. So, in 2013 , we built a new weaving studio. I bought another large floor loom this year, so now it has two large floor looms, and it is bursting at the seams. 

How long have you been involved with Open Studios?
This is my fourth year on the tour. I asked to be involved in 2014 when my new studio was completed. In my travels around the area to do demonstrations, people are fascinated with how the loom works and they want to know about the process. For this reason, I felt that my studio would be a good addition to the tour. By visiting the studio, people can see all of the tools and the process from start to finish.

Do you have a favorite piece? Why is it your favorite?
My favorites evolve over time. One is the first scarf I ever made 13 years ago. It was woven on a 4-harness table loom. It’s made of alpaca, in cream and a pale grey green. I found the design in a weaving book and was very pleased by the result. I know that creating it inspired me to continue weaving. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed creating table runners and wall hangings using many colors and geometric designs. It’s as close as I can get to drawing and painting with yarn.

Would you say that any of your work is more a reflection of living in Roanoke or your travels and experiences outside of Roanoke?
Both. I’ve lived in many places including up state New York, Oregon, Colorado, and Northern Virginia before moving to Roanoke eleven years ago. I think my work is a reflection of the diversity of the places I have lived in my life. Last year, I designed and wove a ministerial stole for my church. I wanted the stole to be representative of the Roanoke Valley. It is hand painted (dyed) in curves that remind me of our mountains with the Roanoke Star placed on top of the curves. When worn, the Star sits just below the minister’s left shoulder where he can touch it when expressing something heartfelt. 

Meridith’s work will be available alongside participating artists through Open Studios Roanoke, beginning on April 29-30. Visit www.openstudiostourroanoke.com for more information on Meridith and participating artists!

Celebrating the LEAF Festival!

Festival season is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! We can’t wait for North Carolina’s LEAF Festival, a four-day event benefitting local artists and musicians, from May 12-15.
The 42nd LEAF Festival will take place in Black Mountain, North Carolina. For over 20 years, each May and October, an intergenerational family of 12,000 people join together upon the beautiful Lake Eden land to experience the power that music, art, and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity.

Sponsored by LEAF Community Arts, a nonprofit organization, all festival profit and donations go towards music and arts education programming both locally and globally. According to their website, since 2004 LEAF Schools & Streets has served over 45,000 youth with programs in over 20 Western North Carolina locations while LEAF International features cultural preservation programs in over 10 countries worldwide.

maxresdefaultThis year, LEAF’s theme is “World Fusion with Cuban Spice.” The lineup includes Juan De Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Shovels & Rope, Fatoumata Diawara, Danay Suarez, Dakha Brakha, Sarah Jarosz, Marchfourth!, Perdition Martinez, and more!

Guests will also have the opportunity to experience over 50 free of charge healing arts workshops. They include yoga, dance, martial arts classes, nutrition workshops, diverse healing traditions, ancient earth skills, and plant walks.

If you’re like us, one of the things we look forward to the most about this time of year is festival food. You’ll find many delicious local options throughout festival grounds, where vendors are divided into the following culinary sections: Boathouse, Shipside, Lakeside, Eden Hall, Roots Family Stage, The Barn, and Meadow Green. One vendor, Homegrown, has a menu that includes a fried chicken sandwich, a smoked trout wrap, a pimento cheese wrap, and smoked pork tacos with slaw. Start the day with organic fair trade coffees, hot chocolate, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, or cake made with 100% organic flour and all-natural or organic ingredients from Bus Station & West End Bakery. Adults can also purchase local brews from Highland Brewing Company, New Belgium, and Pisgah Brewing Company. Of note, you can not bring outside alcohol to the festival—but you can buy fairly-priced ice and beer by the case and/or boxed wine at the Eden Field Camping drop-off.

LKVFacePaintFancyHM-copyThe LEAF festival is also kid-friendly! Family activities include crafts, educational arts, performances, a Jelly Dome Adventure, and a variety of sports in the World Wide Play Field.
If you are interested in learning more about LEAF, go to www.theleaf.org. You can also download their app. This option is perfect for festival attendees because it works offline and offers a schedule of events, dates and location information, and a map of the event layout.

Head over to our Facebook page for information on how to WIN tickets!