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Art and Antique Studio: A Unique Artistic Experience at this Boutique Style Gallery

By Courtney Clark

Art and Antique Studio in Melbourne is an artists'-owned and operated studio in the downtown Eau Gallie Arts District (or EGAD). For more than ten years, the business has been a working studio for artists, providing workshops and classes for the community, and functioning as a gallery open to the community.

Therese Ferguson founded the studio in 2004. After working in the back half of the building for some time, the front room was vacated. Encouraged by her friends and family to open a gallery, Ferguson decided instead to enlist the help of friends to start a co-op gallery. In addition to a cozy gallery for art displays, Ferguson and the other members wanted the artists to have a space to create and teach.

The gallery is large, spacious, and filled with collections contributed by local members, consignment artists, and guest artists. Lolly Walton, Art and Antique's Publicity Chair, says the studio "is a casual, welcoming gallery with paintings, photography, 3D works, jewelry and more, all locally and expertly crafted." Guests can see a variety of artists and styles, such as Karen Chadbourne (oils and watercolors), Linda Geiger (fiber artist, doll maker), as well as a collection of antique furniture and glass curated by Debbbi McElwain.

The studio's teaching facility, Courtyard Studio (CYS), is located at the rear of the Gallery. CYS offers lessons by the area's best and most loved instructors who share their knowledge with the public. Classes are offered in drawing, oils, acrylics and watercolor, both for beginners to advanced artists. Classes are held in a spacious and well-lit classroom and enjoy having an art supply store across the street.

The community can learn using a variety of mediums: watercolor, acrylic, experimental, and more in the well-lit teaching area. Examples of classes include Watercolor for Beginners, Oil Painting, and Beginner Acrylic Painting.

On the first Friday of each month, Art and Antique Studio and the Courtyard Studio, as well as other nearby galleries and shops hosts an evening art walk. The gallery has a new show each month with an opening reception on First Friday's from 5:30PM to 8:30PM. People can enjoy the art, meet the artists, listen to live music, wine and cheese as they walk through EGAD. Hundreds of visitors attend this popular event each month which is free to the public.

Art and Antique Studio has been serving the arts community for over twelve years, and it remains a popular spot in the Eau Gallie Arts District. Artists in the gallery change out their art every two months to keep a new and exciting vibe. Melbourne residents owe it to themselves to stop in and see the amazing talent here and add to their own art collection. Many of the artists in this gallery are state and national award winners.

Photos courtesy of Don Martin Photography

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Denice vanWaardenburg

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