Artisan Forge Studios celebrates with painting and poetry

The Constellations Exhibit comes to a close with a night full of art, live music and poetry reading

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Maggie O'Brien

Brushes and paintings on display in Kevin D. Miles and Wendy Schaefer-Miles’ studio

Artisan Forge Studios hosted Paint to Poetry, a closing reception that offered attendees a last look at its Constellations Exhibit.

Paint to Poetry took place on March 30 from 6-9 p.m., and was free and open to the public. Poetry readings, live music by Tyler Lustek and a poetry slam were features of the event.

Art, including sculptures, paintings, multimedia work and more forms, was scattered throughout the event and many pieces were available for purchase. 

Wine and beer were available for purchase at the event, and for attendees interested in non-alcoholic beverages or hand-painted chocolates, Sweet Driver Cafe was open.

Kelly Speros, manager of the event and an award-winning artist at Artisan Forge Studios, said Paint to Poetry was a more free-flowing event.

“The real organization happened in putting everything together for the opening of this exhibit, the Constellations Exhibit,” Speros said.

According to Speros, the Constellations Exhibit served as the scenery for the theater production that Artisan Forge Studios hosted earlier this year. 

Speros said all of the pieces of art present at the event were used in the play and the night of the Paint to Poetry event was the last night for the pieces to be viewed. 

Astrid Ela, an attendee at the event, said she saw the Paint to Poetry event on Artisan Forge Studio’s Facebook and decided to take part in the poetry slam. 

“I’ve always been so in awe of other poets when I’ve heard them recite their work and I’ve published two books, so it’s a way for me to express myself in a different way and express my work in a different way,” Ela said. 

Ela said she feels Artisan Forge Studios is a place where people can express themselves and be their authentic selves while being creative and coming together. 

Wendy Schaefer-Miles and Kevin D. Miles, contemporary neo-impressionist artists at Artisan Forge Studios, had their studio open during the event. 

Schafer-Miles and D. Miles said they have a unique artistic style in which they paint on the same canvas. 

“I’m definitely more of a painterly artist with loose and broad strokes, where Kevin is more classically trained in Dutch, Flemish realism,” Schaefer-Miles said.

D. Miles said he feels the light and dimension within their paintings are what really set them apart from the others.

“We try to bring people into our worlds that we create,” D. Miles said. 

Scahefer-Miles said the duo lives on a farm in the country and they came to Artisan Forge Studios seeking the art community not found where they live.

D. Miles said they have been at Artisan Forge Studios for around four years. He said they have encountered artists of all ages during this time and seek to inspire and teach young artists.

“It’s where you meet people that are interested in art in the Eau Claire area and surrounding area that come and are curious about creative people,” Schaefer-Miles said.

To find information about other upcoming events at Artisan Forge Studios, check out its event page

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].