The Grand Opening of Easely An Artist’s new space at 221 N. 4th Street in Highlands was held yesterday and despite the rainy weather, a slew of guests and contributing artists made it out to celebrate with the studio’s owner, Jeanie Edwards Jones. Refreshments and wine were served as supporters meandered through the gallery and took in the paintings, photos, and ceramics while listening acoustic music by Jessica Mouschouris.
Jones said with the growth of Easely An Artist over the past three years, she needed the extra room.
“Just space; the other location was a great spot, but as the business grew, I needed the space to separate personal art from the art that I teach,” said Jones. “The space for teaching is going to be out of this world with a kids area, black lights, stars and it will be able to transform for adult groups like a Moms Night Out, etc.”
The upstairs gallery welcomes three new featured artists every five weeks, along with Edwards’ own creations. On the night of the Grand Opening, the inaugural three artists were: D. Michael Meinders, wildlife painter; Dakin MacPhail, photographer; and Kristin Edwards, potter. Jones also displayed many of her portraits of both local and famous personas, each with a backstory, along one wall of the artists upstairs gallery.
MacPhail drove up from Irmo, S.C. to attend the event and exhibit his photos, which included several shots of birds native to the Carolinas.
“With the exception of three of my pieces, the rest were taken in my backyard,” says MacPhail.
How Easely An Artist began
Growing up in Highlands, Jones noticed there weren’t many activities aimed at teenagers and young adults to keep out of trouble.
“Once the putt putt course and movie theater closed down, there was nothing for us to do without getting into trouble,” said Jones. “I vowed that when I became an adult, I would come up and open something for teenagers and their families to do. You can only hike and shop so much.”
Highlands resident Dascha Okhlopkova tooka class with her mother, Lee Ann Hall.
“It’s a good time,” said Okhlopkova. “It’s relaxing, enjoyable, there’s a nice atmosphere; and for a little while you feel like you can actually draw.”
Hall agreed with the relaxed vibe.
“This is my first time and I feel comfortable and chill,” she said. “It’s definitely a good time.”
The teaching space can be reserved for private gatherings, birthday celebrations, or team building exercises. For more information on Easley An Artist or to book a class click HERE.
Article and Photos by Maggie Burd
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