By Joseph Pratt
Recent Shawnee State University (SSU) graduate Julie Buckler has accepted the challenge of opening her own business in the only field she wants to be in, art. After a grand opening last weekend, Julie’s Art Room is now open and currently located at 618 11th St., in Portsmouth, where she offers commission work, painting parties, art lessons and more. The space is planned to be a very interactive art experience for Buckler’s customers.
For years, Buckler has made a living by her work with commissioned paintings, murals, canvas shoes and more by working at home. She is now simply moving her work space to the shop, where she will offer a plethora of additional features for her clients.
“The opening went very well. We had a good, steady amount of visitors, nothing too overwhelming, but a decent turnout,” Buckler said, about her weekend opening. “We painted the curtains, a canoe and more. The biggest thing we did was talk about upcoming projects and opportunities we will be having here in my art room.”
Buckler said that the biggest interest people have in her business is the option to hire her to host a painting party. Buckler will travel to a party, or the event can be held in the art room, and all supplies are provided. The parties are for anyone of any age, and adult parties even include the option to have wine served.
The parties require a minimal of eight participants and costs $160. The price varies on the attendance and if traveling is involved. Parents are also welcome to bring cake and party decorations to Julie’s Art Room, where they lease the building for a two-hour period.
“I love them,” Buckler said, discussing her painting parties. “It is very laid back and easy. Kids’ birthday painting parties offer something unique and artistic. Even the adults like the idea of wine and painting, because we deserve some time off, too.”
The workshops offered at Julie’s Art Room include two different drawing courses and four different painting courses. The length could change in the future, but summer sessions will only last two days, to make the workshops more convenient for the customer, with vacations and other summertime distractions.
“I’ve had so many kids and parents come to me and tell me that they just don’t get art education in school like they want to. Or, the kids have to choose between particular courses. I understand choosing academia, but art goes right there with it. Just think about math and early learning; we used blocks and color charts for math, that is art that is color.”
Buckler’s hours will vary, so it is best to call and make an appointment. The only guaranteed time she will be present in her art room is during the toddler time sessions for kids. Toddler time is on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Kids under 5 and a parent can visit the shop and get to complete a craft for $5.
A side project that Buckler is working on is the fire hydrant project on Second Street, which could expand to surrounding streets in the near future. The hydrant project is being driven by Francesca Hartop and YEI Corp., who are hiring Buckler for the job. She currently has four hydrants done and has many more to complete as sponsorships come in.
Buckler can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 740-285-5715. Buckler’s website can be visited at www.juliesartroom.com and her Facebook can be found at www.facebook.com/MuralsbyJulie.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.