VCUarts graduates’ art space making an imprint

Photos by Amber-Lynn Taber

Samantha Foster
Staff Writer

In an open garage on Main Street, a contingent of artists has come together to provide a workspace for other artists in the area.

Founded by two VCU graduates and two Alfred University graduates, Studio Two Three was created for artists who needed studio space but were no longer able to use school facilities.

“After college, there is really nowhere to work,” said founder and VCU graduate Ashley Hawkins.  “At first, it was just to have a space, but now we have a community.”

Studio Two Three started four years ago as an entirely volunteer-run organization. They achieved nonprofit status one year ago and are currently pursuing donations and grants.

“Even though we are nonprofit, we need to make ends meet and we want to encourage growth and invite the public,” said co-founder and VCU graduate Sarah Watson-Moore.

Studio Two Three offers studio space and equipment for artists working in screen printing, relief printing, etching and plate lithography.

Studio space can be rented on an hourly or monthly basis. Renters are given 24-hour access to the studio.

“We need renters who are motivated individuals,” Watson-Moore said.

Storage lockers and flat files are provided for those renting on a monthly basis. Chemicals, like the emulsions needed for etching, are also provided by Studio Two Three, but the artist must bring all other supplies that they may need, such as paints and screens. Screens can also be stored in the studio.

Studio Two Three offers free workshops for the public the second Saturday of every month. Most recently, the workshops have included salt etching, T-shirt silk screening and printing Valentine’s Day cards.

“We’re trying to focus more on education,” Watson-Moore said.

“We all have our own mediums that we are fluent in, so we teach each other and help each other out,” said fellow founder Tyler Dawkins.

Studio Two Three held an open house this past Friday. The goal was to invite the public in to see the studio and to show off their newly finished gallery.

“The open house gave us a small goal to get the space ready,” Watson-Moore said.

Studio Two Three’s gallery space in the back of the studio has openings the first Friday of every month. They hope to focus the gallery primarily on print makers but are open to other mediums.

Currently, Studio Two Three is in what they referred to as “a rebranding period.”  They are creating a logo and typeface for the studio that will be used for their own advertising.

“We’re the only place in town that does this,” Watson-Moore said.

Photos by Amber-Lynn Taber

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