In just a little over 14 months Studios on the Park has already hosted over 150 free workshops, talks, and demonstrations for adults plus served 2500 kids in classes, workshops and Sunday afternoon art parties.
They have been able to secure eight grants in the last year, according to Studios Founder Anne Laddon, to providing funds for a variety of needs from a business plan (San Luis Obispo Community Foundation) to exterior neon building signs (Hind Foundation), art supplies and marketing helps (Irvine Foundation), more art supplies, chairs and easels (Avalon Foundation and The Blueprinter), to the Central Coast Wine Classic which will provide funds for art classes for the next 12 months for 250 under-served kids through CASA, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brother-Big Sister, YMCA and others. Hearst Foundation and Rabobank have also provided grants for specific needs. “We’ve made a lot of progress, we’re done with the physical improvements to the building and now exploring better ways to serve the community and artists,” said Laddon.
Laddon had been involved in an art center set in a former Torpedo Factory in Virginia several years ago and, after relocating to San Luis Obispo County in 1989, she recalls the beginnings of Studios on the Park, “One day in June 2007, upon seeing the ‘For Lease’ sign in the Pioneer Auto Parts building, I said to myself: ‘Enough is enough!’ I set about turning my dream into reality. There was such a need and this is such a great location. Through conversations with the building owner, Steve Encell, and close friends, I began to formulate a vision for Studios on the Park - an art center with working studios that would provide the community the opportunity to interact with working artists, take classes, and support local talent.
“And what a journey it has been since November 2007 when I signed the lease! We had a blank canvas: an old building, damaged in the earthquake, waiting for a new opportunity and a new lease on life. A non profit was created with the help of art lovers and community leaders. Our board was formed and various sets of plans for an 18,000 square foot brand new building were submitted, modified, resubmitted and finally approved in September 2008. Those “grand plans” for a 3 story art center were put on hold, getting practical and developing the current 9,300 square foot building.
Studios on the Park now boasts of 40 artists on site exhibiting a variety of styles of painting, ceramics, silver, photography, etc. in 10 studios as well as the Showroom Gallery of the Paso Robles Art Association.
According to their website, “Studios on the Park Artists are defined by their passion and commitment not only to their art, but also to the mission and vision of Studios on the Park. They are more than just accomplished, professional artists!
“Artists are masters in their chosen mediums, continually striving to learn more, invent more, and create more...Artists are professionals, who inspire others to create, explore, educate, and share.
“We welcome the public to visit the Artists in their studios to more fully interact with and observe the creative process. Discover the inspiration behind the piece, learn a new technique, or buy an original work of art direct from the Artist.
Studios Artists represent a diverse mix of visual art including acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings, jewelry, collage, photography, and more.”
“We’re here for you,” said Studio Program Director Sasha Irving. “Please consider us your resource. If you’re interested in the arts, don’t be shy. We can help anyone, at all levels. Many artists teach classes in various styles and the Paso Robles Art Association Gallery, with it’s 500 members, is located in the rear of our building.”
“We’ll do all we can to help artists,” added Laddon. “If we don’t have what they need we’ll refer them to Cuesta College, Cal Poly or the San Luis Obispo Arts Council.”
At Studios on the Park, you will find classes and workshops for adults and youth offered in a relaxed and friendly arts environment that will inform and challenge the beginning or experienced artist. Classes represent a range of media and techniques and are taught by skilled practicing artists who help you define and work towards your own artistic goals.
Check their website (www.studiosonthepark.org) for details on upcoming classes and workshops. Current hours are Thursday 12 noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon to 6 p.m. Tours and talks are available before or after regular business hours, call for details.
Studios on the Park is located at 1130 Pine Street, across from the park in Downtown Paso Robles. For general inquiries or comments: email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 238-9800.
Correction: Please note that Studios on the Park has not received a grant from the Irvine Foundation. Studios is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through the month of October.