Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Studio 1219
If you are looking for new and exciting ways to help sustain you through Michigan’s drab winter days, check out the 8000 square foot Studio 1219. Located at 1219 Military Street in Port Huron, Michigan, it is the Thumb area’s largest public art gallery/facility.
Given its start by a “Cool Cities” grant to nurture budding artists and make art available to the community, Studio 1219 bills itself as an artist incubator. It displays (for both your visual enjoyment and potential purchase) the artwork of more than 100 local artists. It also provides retail space for art-related businesses and encourages these fledgling shops to grow and become part of the greater Port Huron business community.
Current retailers include Gypsy Soul offering unique, fair-trade clothing from importers that help support women’s cooperatives in developing countries, alternative nutritional and health products, aromatics (oils, incense, and candles) locally crafted jewelry and gift items. Oftbeat Percussion presents a one of a kind selection of authentic African drums, ethnic instruments, African art, didgeridoos and many other unique and wonderful items. Artistic Images sells art supplies, and creates custom portrait painting through a wide variety of mediums including oils, acrylics and watercolors.
Within six months of its 2005 opening, Studio 1219 was deemed “the Coolest of the Cool” with an award choosing it the best project of the 48 designated Cool Cities throughout the state.
Bi-monthly, the Van Gogh gallery on the second floor highlights a featured artist or group of artists. In February and March the metal art creations of Walt Badgerow (www.wfdragonslayr.com) will be displayed.
Besides perusing art representing all major media including oils, acrylics, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, mosaics, and paper you can get actively involved by signing up for one of many classes. Perhaps you might want to give pottery a try? Studio 1219’s Citizens First Pottery Studio has the only updraft, natural gas kiln available to the public in Michigan. They also do raku firing about once a month. Check their schedule of classes for beginners through advanced potters. If you are visiting Port Huron, a one day class may be appropriate, but if you live in the area, you have the option of considering a multi-week schedule. If pottery doesn’t interest you, consider painting, photography, drawing or even gardening or a healing arts classes. You can sign up on line or get additional information at www.studio1219.com.
If you doubt your artistic abilities, you might want to consider attending a wine tasting event. Friday February 27th Italian wines will be sampled, Friday March 13th Spanish and Portuguese wines offered, and Friday March 27th focuses on South African wines. Each of these events will be held from 7:00 until 9:00 pm and the cost is $35 per person. Call 810-984-2787 to register.
Studio 1219 is currently undergoing restructuring and visitors can expect many new and exciting events by mid-summer so stay tuned for more fun to follow. Specific information can be obtained at info [at] studio1219.com, by calling 810/984-2787 or by checking the website listed above.
Studio 1219’s hours are Tuesday and Wednesday: 10-5, Thursday through Saturday: 10-8 and Sunday Noon-5. Closed Monday. There is no admission charge.
Photos courtesy and copyright of Studio 1219.
Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a bi-weekly column (monthly in winter) for wanderingeducators.com, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.
Not yet a member of the Wandering Educators community? Get full access to all articles, exclusive discounts, and more. So sign up now - it is free!