Artistic Addition: Blue River Studio opens downtown

Published 1:45 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                                    Karen and Tom Hitchcock will host a grand opening for Blue River Studio LLC on Friday, Sept. 23, beginning at 6 p.m.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Karen and Tom Hitchcock will host a grand opening for Blue River Studio LLC on Friday, Sept. 23, beginning at 6 p.m.

Tom and Karen Hitchcock know a thing or two about the arts.
The husband and wife duo are originally from New York, but decided to set up shop in downtown Elizabethton with Blue River Studio recently opening their doors to the public.
Blue River Studio has a simple message to the public, Karen said.
“Blue River Studio is about the arts, bringing people together and bringing people to downtown Elizabethton,” she added. “There’s nothing else like Elizabethton.”
Offering various outlets for local artists, the studio will host an opening reception to the public on Friday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m. at their location on 112 Armed Forces Drive in Elizabethton that will feature a tour of their gallery and working glass studio, along with artist demonstrations and refreshments provided by the Coffee Company and Sugar Love Bakery & Cafe.
While looking for a place to set up shop, Tom added that no other location had the appeal that Elizabethton had to offer.
“It’s very centrally located to the things we enjoy doing,” he said. “We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, golf, fishing … we love this location. Elizabethton also has a really great infrastructure to help new businesses get started.”
Blue River Studio already has a studio in place with various local artists’ work.
“(They) can expect to see nice artwork from local artists that’s reasonably priced,” Karen said about what individuals will see once they enter the business. “People can find out about all of our different classes and teachers that teach different kinds of artwork.”
Karen and Tom will work with artists in a variety of different ways, including fused glass, clay, jewelry, painting and hand pottery. While Karen handles the bulk of the artwork, Tom handles another type of artwork in the back with his audio-visual setup.
As artists come in with demonstrations, Tom added that he can work at filming the lessons, along with pieces of work, to have it available for viewing online on YouTube.
With renovations still going on inside, pieces of artwork will be displayed throughout the facility, Karen added.
While dealing with the art pieces and audio-visual, Blue River Studio also has a stage available for storytellers and musicians. Tom added that the Toastmasters have already expressed interest in using the facility.
Taking a new step with a business can be relatively stressful, but the community has stepped up with well wishes, the Hitchcocks said.
“Everybody has been really positive,” Tom said. “This is something very different, and we appreciate the support.”
A bevy of classes will be available starting next week at the facility, hosted by Karen. Monday, Sept. 26, will be a mosaic mirror class with prices set at $45 with the class open to students 14 years and older. Wednesday, Sept. 28, will be a fused plate class priced at $55 per student while one of the more popular events is scheduled for Friday, as the studio will host a class on creating pendants with prices for the classes also set at $45 a student. Each of the three classes will last from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the business, email or call 423-213-5060.

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