Recycled Doors as front desk

Melissa Gilbertsen, owner, Old Town Art Works, St. Helens, Oregon - 2009.

Melissa Gilbertsen, owner, Old Town Art Works, St. Helens, Oregon – 2009.

A not-the-greatest picture of me, but it does show the front desk of my studio in Old Town St. Helens  which is made entirely of recycled wood doors.

My working studio was open several days a week to the public where either I, or one my local artist friends, taught art classes in a variety of different media.  The classes ranged from Art Adventures for younger kids through painting and mixed media classes for adults.  The rest of the week I spent cloistered away working on commercial work, or at least trying to.  The problem with this was that I was adjacent to The Lofted Lair Gallery and folks were forever barging in and disturbing my working time to see a working artist in action.  Later I moved my studio to the Old School where I could actually get stuff done.

Bridgett Harkings learning to paint with acrylics on a recycled wood door.  2009

Bridgett Harkings learning to paint with acrylics on a recycled wood door. 2009

I had my friend, Bridgett Harkins, help paint my gears sign because I really do feel that you simply learn by doing.  She wanted to learn so I said join in!  Most of the time I feel my job as a teaching artist is simply to help build the bridge to personal creativity for folks by providing the materials,  a positive and nurturing  atmosphere, and gentle guidelines.

It’s an amazing thing to show people that greatness lies in everyone.  It’s an even more amazing thing when they realize I was right!

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