ArtSpace encourages collaboration
Monday, April 22, 2019
FARMVILLE — The East Carolina ArtSpace was filled with guests recently to celebrate its reopening and to welcome new a business, Elizabeth Edwards Interior Design.
“I’m so excited. I never thought I would have a space like this as my first office,” Edwards said. “It’s beautiful. I love being on Main Street and seeing Main Street grow. I like being a part of that, especially as a new Farmville resident.”
Elizabeth Interiors offers customers a customizable interior design experience. The ArtSpace office space will house Edwards’ design studio and serve as her home base.
Edwards graduated from N.C. State College of Textiles and was a designer in Raleigh before relocating to Farmville.
“I’m so excited for her to be in this building and living in Farmville. She offers something Farmville doest have and her office is so beautiful,” said Anna Newsome, the director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce.
Farmville Commissioner Jamin Dixon said, “This is just the coolest building to be unveiled so far in 2019. We have Elizabeth bringing her design and influence to Farmville.”
Elizabeth Edwards Interior and ArtSpace are located in the Sheppard Building 3749 S. Main St., Farmville, which was built in 1907 and has held a number of enterprises.
““One of the most interesting uses of the building was in the late 1920s, when four Farmville physicians joined together to share resources and practice together on the second floor,” said building owner and ArtSpace partner Dr. Craig Steffee. “Ninety years later, we are banding together to share resources, in that very space previously occupied by the physicians.”
The building was divided into two separate properties at one point, and Todd Edwards, the owner Todd Edwards Construction, has worked to restore and once again unify the building.
With the restoration, the original ceiling tiles were kept intact along with a bay window on the second floor of the building.
The aesthetics of the building played a large role in Chad and Beth Winstead’s decision to lease a studio for their photography business, Winstead Photo and Video.
“It’s great. What drew us to this place was the old time feel,” Chad Winstead said. “They’re putting a modern spin on it as well. It’s kind of like a blend of old and new together. We really like that when we are shooting in the studio.”
The business model of the ArtSpace inspires creativity and collaboration from those who inhabit in. The aim is for the ArtSpace to bring artist and other creative professionals together to share resources, work together, learn from each other and be supportive, officials said.
“We’re just super excited about the business model itself. We’re using the art gallery as the glue. Hopefully we have an environment where everybody can learn from each other. It’s a good symbiotic relationship,” Todd Edwards said.
Artists Mark and Lynn Golitz of Morehead City supported the mission of The ArtSpace. Mark has pottery and Lynn has paintings in the gallery.
“This is mind-blowing. This is incredible. I am so honored to (have art) in this area,” Lynn Golitz said. “I think the biggest thing for me is Todd and the group, they not only with the area, but they give artist the opportunity to showcase unabridged creativity, which really excited me. It’s validating to me as an artist.”
The 1,200-square-feet building contains an art gallery on the first floor along with Elizabeth Interiors. The second floor houses 14 studios.
“It’s great. It’s a beautiful building and it really does add to our downtown,” said Farmville Mayor Bobby Evans. “I am looking forward to all the potential that it will enjoy and hopefully that will be from Farmville people supporting them.”
Farmville Commissioner Alma Hobbs added, “I think it’s wonderful that they’re bringing cultural arts to Farmville. I think it also leads to Farmville becoming the art center of the east.”
To lease a space in the ArtSpace or to showcase one’s artwork, call 717-5064.