“We moved to Spanish Fort at the end of 2015 from Houston for my husband’s job, but I am from Minnesota. I grew up creating things and doing art. I took a break while I had babies then started creating again when they became more self-sufficient. I wasn’t working so I opened a studio in my home and had summer art camps in my unused dining room. It was the first time I taught art, and things exploded from there. I sold out the camps and moved the studio to downtown Mobile in November. I originally dreamed of this being an art bus, but the bus didn’t work out.
I didn’t see myself as an artist or pursue it as an education or a career because I believed I wasn’t good enough and couldn’t go farther. My mom is an incredible seamstress and paper crafter, but she never gave herself credit and downplayed her work. That is where I got it. But I had an art teacher who was kind and loving. In her eyes, every student created great art and the seeds were planted in my life. In a former job, I met with business owners who made their dreams come true and did what they love. I wondered why I wasn’t doing the same thing. It was time to believe in myself, and my husband encouraged me to make art my career. I now have a glass and resin piece that was installed at Airbus last week. That was a big deal.
Helping people bring out their creative side is the best feeling in the world. So many people walk in and say ‘I can’t,’ but I give them little nudges and show them they can. They walk out amazed. There aren’t enough opportunities for people to create and we need it now more than ever. It is also an incredible social experience. Some people walk in alone and walk out with new friends. They get together and do this again. Everyone is an artist, some people just haven’t been given the tools and exposure to get them there.
I use mixed media with glass and resin. We have abstract painting nights that don’t require a lot of attention to detail. We offer classes from child to adult. We started after school adventures in art class this year, but had to take it online.
When I told people in Spanish Fort I was opening a studio in downtown Mobile, 95 percent looked at me cross-eyed and tried to warn me not to open there. Just like them, I heard downtown Mobile was a dangerous place at night, but I took my chances. Instead, downtown is safe and well lit up. It is a fun city once you give it a chance. People come here for the first time and say, ‘I get Mobile.’ This space off Dauphin Street is a sweet little spot for me and I adore my landlords. Mobile felt like it was picking up and revitalizing and I wanted to be here. We came here for Art Walk in August last year. It was so busy and happy and that sold it for us. Then enter Coronavirus. This has been stressful during COVID, but if my studio shuts down, at least my family is still okay. I am thankful for every day I get to be here. I never thought I would be living here or or making this dream happen.”