Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Word Out Wednesday-Hershberger & Huff Studios

Hello Ms Hershberger & Huff Studios, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.

H&H Please, my friends call me H & H.

Alright, H & H, um, can you tell us a little about your background, where were you born, did you always want to be an art studio, etc.?
H & H: Well, I was born here in Ocala and have always been a part of BJ Trophies on NE Jacksonville Rd. It took several different jobs before I was able to really find myself. I once was a photography studio and then a thrift store. And both of those were fun and good experience, but I always felt that something was missing. I became a studio/gallery when I met Carlynne and Kelli and felt that I had really found my true calling. I will always be grateful to them for that.

How did you hook up with your current owners? And whose idea was it to open the studio?

H & H: I think we make a great team and have an interesting history. Kelli actually came across Carlynne's artwork in a book, the Best of Colored Pencil while she was living in Tennessee. To make a long story short, Kelli moved here, they met at Red Swan, eventually started teaching classes and workshops together and then wrote a book, the Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. But enough about them, back to me. I connected with them when the owners of BJ Trophies who happen to be Carlynne's in-laws, asked if she would be interested in a rental space that had been empty for awhile. They knew that Red Swan was closing permanently and that Carlynne and Kelli needed a place to teach.
Do I detect resentment or some jealousy on your part toward your partners?

H & H: No, I don't really think so. You know how it is, when you have partners and one or more gets all the credit and attention. I feel at times that they could appreciate me a little more or at least show it. If not for me, they might not have the success that they do.

Do you think that they might answer differently, that you are lucky to have them, and that they made you what you are today?

H & H: Well, I don't know, maybe. You'd have to ask them that question. Anyway, above you see a few photos of my entrance and my favorite wall. I am pretty proud of these areas and of course, Kelli and Carlynne had a lot of input as well. I do think we have done a good job of turning a relatively small space into a multipurpose gallery and studio. We have tried to make it pleasant, well decorated as well as very functional and I believe we have succeeded quite well.

I would agree. I understand you recently had a very successful grand opening.

H & H: Oh, yes, it was wonderful, a very good turnout and a great chance to celebrate with friends and family. Above you see a shot of our banner that the guys at BJ Trophies made for the reception. They have always been very good to me. Below is a photo of the table before the party began. (Just between you and me, food is very important to Kelli and Carlynne.)

As it is to many of us. So you had a good turnout and has the studio been well received?

H & H: Most definitely. Our first Friday Night Painting Party/Workshop was completely sold out and everyone had great fun while making a painting. Our next one is scheduled for July 29. Here are a few more shots of the Grand Opening Reception.

So have you discussed any long range goals with Carlynne and Kelli?

H & H: Well, um truthfully, they do not include me as much as I would like into their planning. However, I see and hear a lot about what's going on. They are working on more artwork, obviously and jewelry making as well as making plans for some more books and maybe some online tutorials. They're testing different ways to make maximum and best use of my space and try many different and sometimes new activities in the arts field to see what suits them. They have said that having me, the studio, has changed everything for them and opened up endless new possibilities.

Well, that sounds to me like they really do appreciate you.

H & H: Uh, yeah, I guess you're right. Yeah, you're right!

So what's next for you?

H & H: Well, I am really enjoying this and feel that it makes the best use of my talents, so I guess I will continue the collaboration. We do seem to work well together.

Thank you for your time and good luck.
H & H:

Thank you.

Peace and creativity.

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