A Stow artist has fulfilled a long-held dream of opening her own boutique where designers of all skill levels can create, teach, display and sell their work.
Leila Griffiths, a member of the Stow Arts Commission who co-created Stow’s first city-wide art exhibit, celebrated The Griffin’s grand opening last month with the arts and business community.
Located in the Shoppes of Stow on Graham Road, the Griffin features drop-in craft projects, an art gallery, a gift shop stocked with items from Northeast Ohio designers, a large space for sipping and painting lessons and a comfortable seating area for less messy projects.
“With the Arts Commission flourishing like it did and the introduction of more art into Stow, it made it clear to me that we really don’t have a place like this to. Stow, ”Griffiths said. “Cuyahoga Falls has it, Hudson has it, Kent has it, but Stow doesn’t, and so many artists have come to me and told me they’re waiting for a place like this.”
The various services allow Griffiths to keep costs low for exhibiting artists who often struggle to make a profit, a challenge Griffiths regularly faced when she began trying to sell her own work in markets and stores. local stores.
“I have found that a lot of places take a percentage off the top and also charge rental fees, which makes it difficult for artists to set a fair price,” she said. “You kind of need a place like this that has multiple revenues to be able to provide this service to artists.”
Griffiths expects one of its most popular services to be the Project Selection Area, where clients can complete a variety of projects with as much guidance as they need, but without prior reservation.
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“The best part for me is you don’t need to book it in advance,” she said. “Especially with COVID, maybe you booked a class, you paid for it, but then you get Covid and you have to be home and there are no refunds.”
The walk-in craft area can also be great for people who don’t appreciate the structure of a guided art class or for anxious people who prefer to work alone, Griffiths said.
She currently has setups for customers to explore canvas painting, alcohol based inks, dream catchers, resin casting, paint casting and more, but expects to cycle in different types. of projects depending on what becomes popular.
The walk-in project area is great for artisans who want to try out new mediums and styles but don’t want to invest in a lot of supplies, Griffiths said, and depending on the type of project, she’s able to make take-out. kits.
For those who like a little more structure, Griffiths also offers a variety of guided lessons.
The Griffin is also available for private parties. Griffiths said she currently has a birthday party planned that will begin with a painting class and end with the Griffin’s transformation into a nightclub.
“I am flexible,” she said.
She also allows various craft groups to meet in space, but asks them to donate something to benefit a local nonprofit, like Bulldog Bags.
Griffiths does not sell food, but customers can bring any food and drink they want.
The Griffin is located at 4962 Darrow Road, next to the new Luca’s New York Style Pizza, and is currently open Mondays from 11 am to 6 pm; Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and limited hours on Sundays.
Journalist Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, [email protected] or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.