Where Art Lives: Lee Street Studios

Where art lives, Lee Street Studios (LSS) is a private/community space that plays host to a tight-knit collaborative group of artists and live music events in Lewisburg. Originally the home to Lewisburg Elementary School, the facility has been transformed into a workplace for creative professionals. An iconic 2-story, solid reinforced red brick structure, LSS sits prominently on Lee Street providing studio spaces for rent. They have a community of artists working cooperatively to develop projects and ideas. The facility is open to the public every Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-4pm. Art is displayed throughout the halls of the building and every Second Saturday, art lovers are invited to meet and greet the artists in their studio spaces. On Saturday, November 10th, there will be an Open House featuring Fibre Arts Studio who will teach you how to weave and spin!  On Saturday, Dec 8th, LSS will feature ceramic artist Sean O’Connell (pictured above) and they will also host a Christmas Party (details coming soon).

This special facility was opened about a year ago with the goal to create an atmosphere where artists could work undisturbed in their studios (except for special events) and share ideas. There is a diverse display of work that range from traditional classical realism to sculptural abstracts in forms of photography, ceramics, glass, oils, acrylics, watercolors, wood, film and glass. Some resident artists include Sean O’Connell, the West Virginia Wood Turners Association, Liz Goertz, Kristen Rehak, Wendy and Craig Reagor, Michael Christie, Romney Collins, and more.

The facility currently has about 22 resident (on-site) artists. Many of them share studio spaces in the building. There are about 4 non-resident artists. Facilities’ Director Jeanne Christie, says she and her team are encouraging more non-resident artists to become involved. She also tells us they are working on a fundraising effort to benefit local schools. Both resident and area artists are painting and reworking student school desks. Wendy Reagor’s desk is pictured above. These desks will be auctioned and schools will receive the proceeds.

Adam DeGraff’s Listening Room is the latest addition to the site. Born and raised in Chicago, Adam DeGraff is as a rock violinist with classical roots who has performed all over the world. Jeanne says, “Adam had a great idea with the Listening Room and his network of professional artists is incredible. We are thrilled he is here providing us with a new level of connections. Locals have enjoyed seeing artists that one would have to usually travel to see and wouldn’t even have the chance to meet the artists on such an intimate level. And now that we have our small wine bar one can enjoy a glass of wine on The Listening Room sofas! This is a wonderful cozy atmosphere.” The Listening Room offers an intense listening hour or so. The content is generally enjoyable for children and they are always welcome to attend.

Upcoming events at Adam DeGraff’s Listening Room are Charming Disaster (genre: folk-noir, tragicomic murder ballads and love songs about death, crime, and the paranormal) on Saturday, November 3, 7:30pm. See the interview with Charming Disaster by Jason Scott on page 8.  Also, make plans to see West Virginia Poet Laurete Marc Harshman, on Thursday, November 15th.

Lee Street Studios is reimagining the way creative spaces should function. Check out this multidisciplinary art complex the next time you’re in the area. You will find contemporary artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, musicians, and so much more. This is a wonderful place to share in the common goal of supporting a uniquely vibrant and creative community. Lee Street Studios is located at 232 N. Lee Street, Lewisburg. For more information, visit leestreetstudioswv.com or call (681) 318-3551.

– HashtagWV #107. November 2018.

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