Art Lab opens its doors in Parrsboro

Five local artists form co-operative effort on Main Street

Andrew Wagstaff
Published on June 23, 2014

Krista Wells (left,) Michael Fuller and Jill Langford are three of five local artists embarking on a co-operative studio-gallery venture on Main Street. Art Lab celebrated its grand opening on June 20.

Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow

PARRSBORO – Art has found a new home on Main Street in Parrsboro.
Art Lab, a co-operative effort between five local artists, opened its doors in a grand opening on Friday, June 20.

Part gallery, part studio, the venture involves the work and talent of Michael Fuller, Jill Langford, Taylor Redmond, Krista Wells and Brenda Wood.

“It just seemed like a super idea if we could get it off the ground,” said Langford, whose work with ink is inspired by the sea.

The idea started last fall, when Wood visited the home of Fuller and Wells. A talented potter, Wood needed a larger space to share her work, while Wells, a painter and storyteller of many mediums, was finding that insurance costs made operating a gallery out of her home too cost-prohibitive.

Their enthusiasm bubbled over to the point where they began recruiting other artists for what became Art Lab. Also coming on board were Fuller and Redmond, painters of different styles.

The group found a home in the former Bare Bones Bistro building on Main Street. While the location could be temporary – the building is for sale – it has become an ideal spot to show their work and demonstrate the creative process.

“We’re hoping the space, with all of us here and each having a different take on creativity, will encourage people in the community to try things,” said Wells. “If you want to be creative, you can. You don’t need to go to school.”

The artists plan to keep the space open for seven days per week this summer, with at least one of them on hand each day. On top of their wish list would be to stay where they are for the long-term, possibly with the help of a patron.

The future could see art classes and exhibitions from visiting artists.

So far, the response from the public has been positive, and the artists themselves are enjoying the collaborative atmosphere.

“It’s lovely to talk to other artists and get ideas, and just talk to people of the same mind,” said Langford. “You can get really isolated as an artist if you’re not careful. This gets things going.”

In addition to the work of the five artists, the space will also include a photography exhibition by Thaddeus Holownia in conjunction with Ship’s Company Theatre’s 30th anniversary.

Twitter: @ADNandrew