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Time to party

Sisters open art studio, party venue at Crossroads Mall

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Sisters Aubry Salgren, left, and Marissa Hamilton pose with a painting and art supplies at their new store, The Artist’s Warehouse, which recently opened at the Crossroads Mall.

Anyone looking to express their creative side through art now has a new outlet at the Artist’s Warehouse, the newest store at the Crossroads Mall.

Owned by sisters Marissa Hamilton and Aubry Salgren, the Artist’s Warehouse is a combination art studio and party venue, located in the former Homespun Collection space just off center court.

Hamilton said the business venture combines two of their interests.

“Aubry is into arts and we also like throwing parties,” she said. “And we always wanted to go into business together. Combining them to make one space that people can come and enjoy was kind of our vision.”

Salgren added that she loves art.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Sisters Karlee Hamilton, 9, from left, Claudia Hamilton, 5, and Evelynn Hamilton, 3, work on coloring pictures at The Artist’s Warehouse, located in the Crossroads Mall. Their mother, Marissa Hamilton, is co-owner.

“I have always liked doing art and opening a business like the Artist’s Warehouse allows me to do what I love doing, while being my own boss,” she said.

There’s quite a bit that visitors to the Artist’s Warehouse can do.

On the studio side, Hamilton said they have crafts that people can purchase for painting.

“We have all sorts of little gizmos you can put on them, like puff balls or the letters for your name,” she said. “We have canvasses for people that just want to do free art. Just all sorts of crafts that people can purchase.”

The party area is also available to rent for any sort of occasion. It’s also possible to combine both sides into one occasion.

“We have the party area that we can rent out for birthdays and anniversaries or any kind of party,” she said. “We can also do birthday parties on the artist side where they can pick a craft and the kids can do the craft.”

When it came to the location for the Artist’s Warehouse, Hamilton said she and her sister originally wanted their own stand-alone store.

“We looked at buying a building,” she said. “We just didn’t really have funds for it.”

While looking at their options, Hamilton was approached by her friend, Amanda Peart. Peart recently opened her own store, Personal Expressions, at the mall and suggested that the sisters speak with Melissa Verschoor, the mall’s general manager.

“We got with Mel, the manager, and looked around,” Hamilton said. “We found this and fell in love. It was exactly what we needed and wanted.”

The Artist’s Warehouse held its grand opening on June 15, and Hamilton said it was successful.

“There was quite a few people that stopped in,” she said. “We had some little ones come in and do some crafts.”

While the studio has plenty to do for children, Hamilton said they are open for people of all ages.

“That’s what we want it to be,” she said. “It’s not just little kids. Anyone on the artist spectrum or any age.”

Aspiring artists of all skill levels are welcome, and Hamilton said she and her sister have plenty of options for someone wanting to show their creative side.

For example, while the children and adults can paint crafts, activities such as using the canvas and painting hats might have more interest to someone who is older.

And while the studio just opened, Hamilton said they’re already making plans for the future.

One goal they have is to display art made by local artists, and possibly helping those artists sell their work if there’s an interest.

And there are more plans as well.

“We will offer art classes once we get some people lined up,” she said, adding they want to wait until they’re established and people are familiar with who they are so they can fill the classes.

“We can really offer whatever you want.”

She added the classes will be open to all ages, but she believes that adults may be more interested.

You don’t need a reservation to take part in the activities the Artist’s Warehouse has to offer, either. Hamilton said they get walk-ins all the time.

“We’ve had a lot of people do that,” Hamilton said.

And they never rush someone who is working on artwork; they can take all the time they need.

“It can take as long as they wait it to take, or it can be 20 minutes,” she said. “It all depends on the craft they pick to do.”

Hamilton said she and Salgren are looking forward to getting the studio off the ground and seeing where the future will take them.

“We just like little kids and we like being our own people and giving people space to come here and be creative, whichever way that is,” she said. “Painting or just a craft.”

She added that she and her sister want to be a resource for the community.

“We’re fun people,” she said. “We have fun. We just want to help people be creative.”

“We make a good team.”