FENNVILLE — Celebrating 10 years of operating Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm, artist Dawn Soltysiak lives by her motto "A connection to the artist and the land". She found the perfect place for her business: home. Her studio is located on a small sustainable farm where she and her husband grow a lot of their own food and offer educational tours about their farm.
Soltysiak runs Khnemu Studio & Gallery on Fernwood Farm on site in a restored two-story post-and-beam barn. She makes and sells her handmade contemporary pottery, along with art work from over 25 other artists.
Her creative oasis offers two visiting artists workshops annually, in addition to her weekly pottery classes and other events at the studio and sustainable farm. Over the last 10 years Dawn has built a reputation of high quality hands on workshops. She will be hosting internationally known Graham Hay from Perth, Australia to teach a workshop called “Radical Paperclay” on June 16-17 and 18-19. Graham is the leading paperclay artist in the world, he has taught workshops in several countries, including the USA.
His back-to-back workshops at Khnemu Studio are both sold out and participants are flying in from all over the country and also Ontario. “It is exciting to bring in such well respected artists into my studio, while offering others the opportunity to learn from them” and “It feels good to know that my off-the-beaten-path small business has a positive economic impact for my local community, as the participants will be flying into the area, eating in local restaurants and staying in local lodging.”
Soltysiak’s hard work toward her dreams is being recognized by others as she was recently awarded an Individual Artist’s Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids. “It is an honor to be a recipient of an individual artist grant, these type of opportunities are not offered often”. The grant award will be used to finish a large 100 cu. ft. downdraft car-kiln she built in an old silo on her property.
Soltysiak said she appreciates the visitors who seek out her creative space. “If anyone is making an effort to drive and get out here, they’re not just wandering by,” she said. “I love the people that come out here, they are people willing to venture off the beaten path to seek something unexpected. I hope I offer some of that to them.”
Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm gallery is open seasonally April-November, Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5pm or year around by appointment. For directions or class schedules visit www.KhnemuStudio.com