THE STUDIOS AT LARKIN ARTS
The studios at Larkin Arts are a place to work, focus, spread out, and benefit from collective creativity in a space dedicated to art making.
Local artists and Artists-In-Residence use these spaces to create, display and sell their artwork in a central, downtown location. A couple artists are even incubating a new small business! Stop in to see artists in action and check out the new bookstore.
MERIDIAN BOOKS & GAMES
Meridian Books & Games is a small bookstore owned by Vince and Morgan Paixão offering graphic novels, art and children's books, as well as tabletop games and gift ideas. Both Vince and Morgan are visual artists; Vince specializing in pen and ink media, while Morgan in oil painting. The two have been a part of Harrisonburg's arts community for years and are excited to become even more involved. They have carefully curated Meridian's selection; striving to provide unique and inspiring resources for creatives of all kinds.
STEVE GILMAN & ROS O'BRIEN
Ros and Steve share an art studio where you'll find a mish-mash of photography and pottery. They rented a studio at Larkin for the inspiration and motivation that comes from sharing a creative space with vastly different artists.
Steve has an art degree from JMU, and you may see him around town with his Polaroid camera. He has recently returned to photography, and is currently exploring joyful, silly, and occasionally thought-provoking street photography.
Ros dabbled in pottery for a number of years, but truly fell in love after a week-long class in building ceramic birdhouses at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She is currently exploring handbuilding (you won't see a wheel in here!) functional pottery, from mugs to birdhouses.
Growing up in Bedford County, Virginia Loring was immersed in nature throughout his childhood. He remembers that his mother often took him to art galleries and as a child he was surrounded by art. He says that for him it all started with drawing and carving wood, just tinkering around with found objects! He has a natural curiosity of the world around him, the way things work, why things are the way they are, which very often leads to great conversation.
Loring later moved to Bridgewater, Virginia, where he earned a Biology degree from Bridgewater College. He found himself always surrounded by creatives of all kinds, including musicians, visual artists, writers, etc. Art really became his focus when he started carving. He says, "There's this weird evolution. A lot of it is finding random pieces of wood and turning them into stuff."
Loring firmly believes that everyone can and should show others that they can create. What Loring wants people to know about his studio is that he wants to include people in his process. There's a reason he has a nice comfy chair in his studio. (And it's not just so you'll sit down and he can show you the list of band names he has on his phone.) It's because he wants people to feel as comfortable as possible in his creative space. He says it's intended to be a, "welcoming spot that is a window for what's going on in his head."
ELWOOD MADISON, III
Elwood “Trip” Madison III - Serving as the Art Director for Graphic Design at Larkin Arts since December 2013, Trip has made a name for himself in the downtown Harrisonburg arts community for his quirky and clever designs.
A Shenandoah Valley native, Trip graduated from JMU with a BFA in Interior Design and after traveling extensively for years he settled in Harrisonburg and has been working as a freelance graphic designer. Besides graphic design, Trip draws and paints, designs and builds things, creates spaces, makes films and takes photos, and has recently delved into animation. We call him our 'Renaissance Artist'.
When asked what he enjoys most about downtown Harrisonburg, Elwood said, “The level of support for artists in this community coupled with the density of inspirational talent in proportion to the population is exactly what I want.”
Andy is attracted to profound, challenging, and beautiful ideas, people, and conversations and his heart is full when he is taking risks to learn new things, meet new people, and be stretched. A computer scientist and nerd (in all of the good ways) by education and occupation he has always gravitated towards the arts and can get deeply lost in working on art projects. Andy joined Larkin Arts in September 2013 with a focus on teaching himself watercolor painting. Perhaps a bit too susceptible to the peer pressure of a friend, inspiring artist, or lets be honest, Valerie, he is easy to coax into picking up new projects. Through the powerful influence of the amazing community of painters, sculptors, film-makers, writers, poets, photographers, wood-workers, and generally just amazing people in orbit at Larkin, Andy has been challenged and stretched into new mediums from resin casting, to wood working, to graphic design, and others. Andy would say that he’s not comfortable calling himself an artist, but while at Larkin he has been part of several exhibitions, sold work, and done a bunch of art so you probably shouldn’t believe him.
When he’s not at Larkin, which is often these days, he runs a successful technology start-up called BidWrangler (link http://www.bidwrangler.com). BidWrangler builds websites, mobile apps, and a powerful bidding platform for hundreds of auction companies all over the world selling everything from high-end luxury real estate, to farm machinery, to pots and pans. In that role he’s constantly building stuff, managing a company, doing everything from emptying the trash cans to reviewing legal agreements to traveling all over the country trying to win new customers.
In the tiny moments outside of BidWrangler or Larkin you will likely find him listening to podcasts and scheming up some new idea while trying to be a good husband/father to an amazing wife, and 3 wildly interesting boys.”