#HomeGrownStories – Leslie Trimbach & Dawn Spoltman
Local artists Leslie Trimbach and Dawn Spoltman opened Studio 14 Creative Arts Center in downtown Troy. It is the sister studio to Studio 14 Gallery & Fine Arts Center, located in Tipp City. Both studios offer art classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels. Professional instructors teach classes in painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, glass, and more. They offer Tippsy Art Parties for adults, Studio 4-Teens Art Parties, and Arty Parties for Kids. The community is at the heart of Studio 14. Leslie and Dawn want the studios to share art with their communities and their communities to share with their studios.
On living in Miami County:
Leslie – I am from Butler Township in Montgomery County. We moved to Tipp City in 2001. It’s a nice area. We wanted to raise our family here. We knew the schools were great because my family’s business, the Benkin Antique Gallery, was in Tipp City.
Dawn – I am from Miami County. I’ve lived in Piqua my whole life. I’ve been a business owner for the past 21 years on my own. About two years ago I joined forces with Studio 14 doing the Tippsy Art Parties.
About Studio 14 Gallery & Fine Arts Center and Tippsy Art Parties:
Leslie – We’re both artists. We do what we preach. I have a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from the University of Dayton. I live, breath, and play art. I teach watercolor. I want to get art out into our community any way that I can. I especially want to help children connect with art. It’s my way of giving back because people did that for me when I was young.
Dawn – I spent 25+ years as a nurse and now I’m going back to my art roots. I’m kind of getting a slow start with art. I wanted to do this right out of high school but took a different path. There are some great things ahead. Not only the studio here in Troy but in Tipp City as well. We want to get art out to the community. That’s what we’re working on with this wall: people can come in and paint and make the studio a part of them. We want the community to be a part of us and vice versa.
Leslie – My mother, Evelyn Staub, started a small art gallery in the Benkin Antique Gallery in 2009. I wasn’t involved at that point. It was a little art gallery and she had artists that she represented do rotating exhibits. When Benkin Antique Gallery closed, she didn’t want to quit doing the art gallery. She wanted to expand it. That’s when we found a house right on Main Street in Tipp City. That’s when I came on board and we completely renovated it. That was three years ago. Now the gallery is housing artwork by about 25+ local and regional artists. We also host workshops, art classes, and the Tippsy Art Parties. Our offerings have grown so much that we decided we needed more space. We took the next step and now we’re here!
Dawn – For our Tippsy Art Parties, we take the traditional paint party to the next level. Participants can relax and enjoy a beverage. We paint glassware, canvas, or shoes, or make jewelry. We can host private parties and we offer public parties. Our art instructors guide the participants, but it’s a friendly, no-pressure atmosphere. The participant goes home with a nice art piece. These parties evolved as a way to drive more traffic into the studio in Tipp. The studio is in a big Victorian house and people often think that it’s someone’s home. The Tippsy Paint Parties were a way to get some recognition for it as a business, an art studio, and gallery.
On Studio 14’s second location, Studio 14 Creative Arts Center:
Dawn – This location is a sister studio. Here we do more hands-on creative arts. It also provides us with more space to host larger events. In the loft space in our Tipp City studio, we could house about 25 people at a time. We needed a dedicated space where we could set up permanent fixtures for classes.
Leslie – We plan on expanding our class offerings. We’ll have fine art classes, art workshops and children’s classes and summer camps. We want to offer classes for all ages.
Dawn – We won’t just be offering the Tippsy Art Parties. This will be our Creative Arts Center so it will encompass all things in the creative arts.
Leslie – We have University of Dayton art professors that teach art classes in Tipp City for us. Almost every teacher that we have has been asking to come here to teach. I believe that the art class side of the center will also prosper here.
On the community response to Studio 14:
Dawn – When the Tippsy Art Parties started in Studio 14 in Tipp City they were very well received. We took off with a lot of gusto. It was faster than we anticipated! When we started advertising that we would be opening this studio in Troy people were excited. This space has a cooler atmosphere for the bachelorette parties that we do. We also have space for private parties that we couldn’t host in Tipp City because we didn’t have space.
Leslie – We had to turn groups away last year because we didn’t have enough space.
Studio 14’s most popular classes and events:
Leslie – Our figure drawing art classes are very popular. The classes that our UD professors offer are very popular as well.
Dawn – The canvas Tippsy Art Parties are our most popular ones and we offer a variety of options. We paint on canvas, wood panels, and wine glasses. People like that they can pick their project.
What they love most about Miami County:
Dawn – What I love most Miami County is the small town feel. Even though we can offer high-quality events and artists we still maintain that feeling. Bigger cities don’t have the community that we have. Both Troy and Tipp City have embraced us. They support us. They like that we offer kids classes and that we bring in professional artists to teach our classes.
Leslie – They have been very supportive of us. Anyone coming to the downtown Troy area will be well received. The people are very helpful. The Troy Chamber of Commerce was here on Friday and they were immensely kind. It’s a very well-knit community.
Their Miami County recommendations for out-of-town visitors:
Leslie – If you’re interested in art, I recommend Art in the Park. It’s put on by the Tipp City Area Arts Council. That’s coming up in July. There are quite a few fantastic restaurants in downtown Tipp City. Definitely, stop at the gallery to see our amazing artists’ work. We have a lot of quality art classes to offer and a lot of camps for kids every week throughout the summer.
Dawn – We are in the hub of great community restaurants and businesses. Troy has an amazing centralized downtown. There are a lot of great restaurants like The Caroline, La Piazza, and Basil’s. If you want a quick bite, Submarine House is great.
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