New artists open up shop at Artisan Forge Studios

Artisan Forge hosted their grand opening event to introduce twelve new businesses

Charlotte Becker

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Photo by Charlotte Becker

Artisan Forge hosted an event on Nov. 8th to introduce the community to the new vendors that have set up in the studios.

New artists have set up shop in Artisan Forge Studios. To introduce and welcome the Eau Claire community members to the new businesses, Artisan Forge hosted an event with art, artists and live music on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Artisan Forge hosted a collection of different painters, metal workers, jewelers and more during the event called the “Artisan Forge Grand Opening.” 

The event had open studios with gallery viewing of some paintings, handmade jewelry on display, skincare items for sale and many other products and creations to check out for those that attended.

The event included live music by musician Peter Phippen, hors d’oeuvres made by Victoria Shoemaker and several artists and vendors selling their products and greeting the attendees. 

Artisan Forge has over thirty vendors and is a unique collection of artists and businesses with a lively community, according to painter Jamie Bower.

“Artisan Forge is strange,” Bower said. “You’ve got people out there welding and then we have paintings and this and that. We have a nice little group.” 

Bower is one of the several artists that have moved shop to Artisan Forge. According to Bower, the mix of all different kinds of vendors is the appeal to the Artisan Forge studios. 

“I wanted to be part of this group here. These people are energetic and they’re always doing something,” Bower said. 

Part of that mix of different businesses is illustrator Mark Lone, who primarily specializes in comic-style prints and illustrations. 

“(I hope) to inspire people to do more illustrative work and to recognize that there are fine arts but (there is) also the comic art,” Lone said. 

Artist Mindy Huntress, one of the new arrivals to Artisan Forge, wants the community of Eau Claire to know that there are more artists and businesses selling their works at the studio who welcome more community members to visit. 

“(This event) is promoting different artists that just moved to Artisan Forge. It is introducing the community to the artists that are here and letting them know that we are here,” Huntress said.

For many artists and art students, places like Artisan Forge Studios and the events they put on are about the social aspect and are great places to socialize and learn about art, according to Bower.

“Art-minded students would have fun here,” Bower said. “Usually (art galleries) don’t cost anything. You can go there and get ideas and meet fun people. They have drinks and music. This is an outlet to meet other people who are like-minded and open to try new things.” 

For those that missed the grand opening, there are more events coming to Artisan Forge in the future including live music, art shows and classes. Those events can be found at the Artisan Forge Studios website.

The vendors that are currently there all have individual hours separate from events. Those hours and vendors are listed on the Artisan Forge Studios website as well under their vendor directory.

Becker can be reached at [email protected]