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Reach for the Stars!

Pam Granger Gale had a dream! When she retired from teaching elementary art in 2016, she wanted to open a teaching studio with other artists on the South Slope of Asheville. Like so many other parts of Asheville that have experienced renovations in the past 30 years, the South Slope was entering its own period of renovation. Pam learned of a new opening called the Refinery Creator Space, run by the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC). She inquired, submitted an application, and was turned down -- or just too late -- to sign a lease on the space. Not deterred, she had her eye on another building up the road on Coxe Avenue, but soon learned it too had an occupant. Sigh!

So, Pam waited patiently. She used 2017 to network and learn more about her hometown arts community. She offered classes in Eco Depot, the Arboretum, Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League in Black Mountain, The Dry Goods Shop, as well as other out-of-town gigs.

The one common denominator of the classes was carting in supplies and setting up in a mixed use space and then breaking down and leaving the space clean. Nowhere in Asheville could she go in and just teach, you had to be a member, or display your art there, or a thousand other reasons.

So, a need drove the necessity to find a space and dedicate it as a teaching studio of select media. One autumn day in October, 2017, Pam walked back into the AAAC and talked with Stefanie Gerber Darr, Mamie Fain, and Janelle Weinke about space in the Refinery. Good news! The big room was available! Looking inside the rectangular space, Pam saw it was big: roughly 900 square feet, a window to the outside, with lots of power outlets. It was perfect; a plain and simple room inside an entire building dedicated to art!! The catch was another leaser had signed on a short term contract. Sigh. Though disappointing news, the timing was perfect, and music to her ears. The winter months would allow Mrs. Granger Gale time to recruit artists, and develop back end operations before opening in the spring!! Delighted and energized, Pam had a new mission: create a teaching studio for residents and tourists alike, with a varied list of instructors and classes.

A little backstory here: while living on Hilton Head Island in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mrs. Granger Gale ran an arts facility for Beaufort County (SC) Recreation named Kreation Station, which offered classes geared toward world traveled tourists and residents. It was a very successful center, with clients returning year after year to participate in numerous programs.

Back to the present: so Pam set to work during the cold winter months, developing contracts, sending out emails to close artist friends, finding an online reservation system, and meeting and talking with artists of all media about this idea. Many artists loved the idea, and 10 artists took the plunge in the brand new venture.

She has gathered a collection of ten artists, and business people to support this vision. She has found her team members in unlikely places—from flyers placed in Starbucks, artists she met through gallery associations, teaching classes, and the most important method: referrals from friends and family.

Named Majik Studios, classes are offered in two to three hour increments throughout the day to allow participation at a convenient time. Our instructors are highly qualified, trained, and experienced teachers with a combined teaching total of 178 years. The instructors base their session on art principles and give knowledgeable background on the “hows and whys” of using the techniques to achieve what you desire! Best of all, affordability is also important to our studio experience.

So come on down to the South Slope and discover the hidden gem that is the Refinery Creator Space! The instructors at Majik Studios 207 are ready to help you discover your next inspiration, or guide you on the path to success in your lifelong passion to become a talented artist!

We can’t wait to meet you and “add a little Majik to your life!!!”

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