By Alexandra Schaefers
Local artists and art enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the grand opening of a new gallery and art supply store downtown on Friday, July 11. Artist Jennifer Lommers has taken over the Drawing Board to open Studio262. The new space will have a juried art exhibit every six to eight weeks centering on different themes and will stock fine art supplies for watercolor, oil, acrylic, and print-making artists, with many products locally produced. The shop will also carry art gifts, merchandise by exhibiting artists, and during the holiday season the gallery exhibitions will pause to provide a variety of handmade gifts by local artists. The back room will continue as a permanent exhibit of Lommers’ work and the prints of former studio-mate Julia Lont. The shop will also host workshops and product demonstrations.
In order to encourage artists to submit work to the new space Lommers will have low commission rates for the first year of Studio 262 and offer cash prizes for the best pieces, juried by her. Teaching artists won’t need to pay rent for classroom space, though Lommers may take a small percentage of student fees.
When Mike Weiner, former owner of the Drawing Board, offered her the opportunity to take over the shop, Lommers couldn’t pass it up. Owning a gallery and art supply store was already one of her goals. Though she’d planned to pursue the business when her children were older, she was motivated by the unique opportunity to take over the shop where she already had studio space and was familiar with the needs of the local artists who shopped there. She appreciates the work Weiner did to build community among Corvallis creatives and hopes to serve a broader population of artists including more professionals.
Lommers will keep her studio in the back of the shop and assures people they aren’t interrupting her process when they stop in to shop or even just to visit and watch her paint. She will continue the Drawing Board’s service of placing group orders as requested for students of Benton Center classes at the beginning of their terms. She is also committed to an annual charity event every year around Valentine’s Day, like the one she did for Chintimini Wildlife Refuge last year.
The grand opening of Studio262 will include food, swag, and live music. The first show features Temporary Artists’ Guild members Johnny Beaver, Tim Blackburn, Sarah Page, Hollie Murphy, Danielle Beaver, and Rachel Urista. Urista taught the first workshop in the new space on June 25.
Studio262 is located at 425 SW Madison Avenue, Suite G. The grand opening is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 11. You can find more information at www.studio262gallery.com.