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Friday, October 10, 2014

Mama on a Budget: The Art House

Parrish Monk of The Art House
When I was younger I used to tell my mom I was going to grow up and be a painter. You know, just one of those people that sat under the Eiffel Tower eating croissants, wearing a beret, and painting day and in day out. Seemed like an ideal job to me. Taking me at my word, she enrolled in my various art lessons around town and I soon fell in love with numerous art mediums in addition to painting, eventually settling on graphic design.

Naturally when I heard about a new Art-related shop soon to open in the center of town (19 N. Fort Thomas Ave.) I had to check it out, especially once I saw that their courses would include such offerings as “Mommy and Me” painting, art education programs, quilting, wheel throwing, pottery, sculpture, wood carving, bonsai, ikebana, drawing and, of course, painting.  So, I quickly sat down with Parrish Monk (owner) to get all the details on The Art House.

Retail space
FTM: Why did you decide to open in Fort Thomas? 

Monk: Debbie Buckley, Renaissance Manager/Economic Development Director for the City of Fort Thomas, and Linda Slone from the Bank of Kentucky were primarily responsible for bringing INKAA (Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisans) to Fort Thomas. Debbie showed us an outwardly beautiful but internally worn down building with some much potential. Most people would have run the other way after seeing all the needed repairs. But Debbie and I looking through our artistic lenses and using our imagination envisioned an awesome space that could become a central arts facility. We began and continue to refer to the space as the "Art House".  The Bank of Kentucky owns the property and gave us some great incentives to move in the building. One of the incentives was that they would help with the major renovations and repairs to the Art House. Those renovations are taking place now and this 100 years old building is experiencing a new life. 
We decided to locate in the Fort Thomas community in part because I have been working a lot with artists from the area outside of the community and often at art shows across the river in Ohio. The cherry on top for me was the immediate support that we received from many of the Fort Thomas community members. Everyone has been exceptionally warm and welcoming. During our debut at the last Merchants and Music Festival we met a lot of great people and local artists who are excited about us coming to the community. The exciting part for me is how openly the community has embraced INKAA's idea and mission.
(Writer’s Note: The Art House is a collaboration between INKAA and RiverSpan Regional Art Alliance, Inc. and will be an artist, artisan, and art-related business incubator cooperative. 

Entrance room/ Hang out

FTM: What will you offer and when will you be open?
Monk: Registered in the State of Kentucky as a not-for-profit corporation, The Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisans Education program, Inc. (INKAA) is in part an art business incubator, an art education program, an art gallery, artisan retail shop, and an art cooperative.
Our mission is to provide equitable access to the arts and art opportunities to established, independent, emerging, and aspiring artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. 
Upstairs to the main galleries
One of our primary focuses is to help established, independent, emerging and aspiring artists and artisans better understand the business side of the art world. INKAA is a dedicated business partner for artists and artisans. However, we are also building a functional mentoring program and network for emerging artists and artisans that links them to mentors and opportunities from the community, from across the nation and internationally. We want to help local artists and artisans become successful and acquire the needed resources that allow them to grow and develop in their artistry.
Stop in to hang out, shop and drink coffee
At the Art House we will have fun and engaging classes including art business education classes for emerging and aspiring artists and artisans; early childhood engagement art programs such as our daytime "Mommy and Me" program for stay at home parents, art credit programs for home-schooled youth, and we will have numerous outreach programs for individuals with special needs including children on the autism spectrum (i.e.: Artism Program). Through our KY-mmunity Outreach Program we will conduct regular outreach initiatives for the elderly or individuals who may be location bound and can't come to us because of their health or physical conditioning.

We will have regular art education programs and classes including classes in quilting, wheel throwing, pottery, sculpture, wood carving, bonsai, ikebana, drawing and of course painting. These classes will go on 5 days a week. We have two rooms dedicated for classrooms and fun activities like our monthly "Dine and Design" parties and "Kreative Kids Club".

While we have a Grand opening of November 15th, our programs and class will be full strength start no later than January 2015 because we are still building our infrastructure and raising enough capital to purchase things like art supplies, office supplies, fixtures, lighting, and alarm system. 

The Art House will have two dedicated art galleries and two artisan retail shops as well as working studio space for artists and artisans and our future artist in residence program. In the gallery space we will connect artists with corporate art and public art display opportunities including opportunities in the wholesale/retail industries. 
*Think of the INKAA and the Art House as a unique and diverse arts organization that was designed on a business model to become a self-sufficient and sustainable art business and arts education organization. 
On October 25th, 11am to 5pm we will hosts a Fall Arts and Craft Show in the parking lot behind the Art House at 19. N. Fort Thomas Avenue. The community will have an opportunity to meet and greet some of our future artists and artisans as well as get some early Christmas shopping done.

So, there you have it.  If you’re an artist in the local community, it looks like you may soon have a new house, The Art House. 

1 comment:

  1. Hoping this concept works. Proceeding with caution. Did you see the Enquirer story on this? It's got "EXCLUSIVE" in the title and was published after yours.