Artsy Chic Studio 06/22/17

Owner Christina Keniley-Browning is pictured at Artsy Chic Studio in Mattoon on June 22.

KEVIN KILHOFFER, JOURNAL GAZETTE & TIMES-COURIER

MATTOON -- Local artist Christina Keniley-Browning's new Artsy Chic Studio downtown offers do-it-yourself painting and crafting workshops and special events for participants of all ages.

The studio opened earlier this year in a renovated storefront at 1520 Broadway Ave.  Keniley-Browning said she started her business in 2014 by offering a variety of mobile art programs, including home school art education classes, painting parties, and pop-up booths at festivals.

"We grew enough to finally get our own location in a brick-and-mortar store," the artist said. Her husband, Jason Browning, serves as business manager for Artsy Chic Studio. "Art education is one of the biggest things we focus on. We want to offer programs that are affordable for kids and their families."

Artsy Chic is in the midst of offering summer camp art programs for children, such as upcoming fashion design and upcycling camps. The studio also hosts painting classes and other workshops for all ages, including a July 8 "Moana" painting party and a July 23 "Fairy Garden Tea for Two Party."

The studio also takes bookings for birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and other special events.  Keniley-Browning said "Crafting and Cocktails" gatherings have been popular with her adult customers. She said the children's birthday parties at the studio are particularly popular with parents who want their little party-goers to paint, just not in their homes.

"They can get messy here and we do all the cleanup," Keniley-Browning said of the children's birthday parities.

Keniley-Browning majored in art and business at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, where she specialized in print making and oil painting. The artist said she leads programs at her studio that focus on quick-drying acrylic paints, but also gives instruction in other mediums. She added that the studio will start leading clay pottery programs this summer, and the studio has guest artists lead programs focusing on a variety of arts and crafts.

In the long term, Keniley-Browning said she plans to open a boutique within Artsy Chic and to obtain her master's in art therapy so she can offer related programming at the studio. She also is continuing to lead art events at Castle Finn Winery in rural Marshall and at other locations outside of her studio.

The studio is located in a downtown storefront that is owned by Dr. Don and Jane Freesmeier, and was renovated by Fuller Custom Builders LLC. The contractors left the building's original tin ceiling in place and left exposed a brick wall that now holds more than 30 of Keniley-Browning's paintings.

"I love being part of downtown Mattoon. I love being in this historic building and offering our arts and services to the community," Keniley-Browning said.

More information is available by calling 217-254-8314, or by going online to http://www.artsychicstudio.com/ or to the Artsy Chic Studio & Boutique page on Facebook.

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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