The public is invited to an Open House to see artist Cheryl Hardin’s new studio and gallery in Hurtsboro. Hardin has been painting for more than 50 years, achieving national recognition for her portrait and mural work. Door prizes will be given at the Open House and include a gilcée print, art lessons, a gift certificate for a pastel portrait and an original oil painting all completed by Hardin. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to sign up for art lessons.
The new studio and gallery is housed in a 1936 bungalow, part of the Hurtsboro Historic District that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two years ago, Hardin and her husband Bill decided to purchase the house, which adjoins the property where they live, with the idea to re-purpose the building and use it as an art studio and gallery.
The previous owners used it for a hunting camp. It was rustic and deteriorating rapidly, but it has a lot of character and potential, so the Hardins bought it. The one-story wood frame house has a large front porch and distinctive carport on the side. It was built during The Great Depression by Lillian Williams for A.B. Goldstein as a rental property.
“We have been working on refurbishing the house for the best part of two years doing a lot of the work ourselves. This past spring, we had to postpone the opening when my husband was injured on March 7 in the shooting of the Hurtsboro City Grill. For several months, Bill’s health took priority over our restoration project, but now he is back to normal, and the studio is just about ready,” Hardin said.
Early in the restoration process, the Hardins had volunteer help from some of their friends and neighbors. They hired neighbor Tom Zuber to help with construction, plumbing, etc., but Hardin did most of the scrapping, and painting, replacing broken window panes and re-puttying every window in the house. They kept the old bathroom fixtures and also the kitchen sink and original cabinets.
“I have turned the central hall into a little gallery and will use the dining room for my personal studio,” Cheryl Hardin said.
Hardin plans to give drawing lessons and painting classes for beginners and advanced students (maximum of five at the time) in the living room. She will offer private lessons and seasonal workshops that will last three to four days. Out-of-town participants will be able to stay in the studio, which the Hardins have named The Bunkhouse. There are three bedrooms that are furnished with a total of five twin beds. One of the bedrooms will also be used as Hardin’s office and study.
“My dream has always been to have my own art school. This new art space will make that dream come true. At the same time, we have preserved a great old house,” Hardin said.
The Open House will be Sept. 22-23 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT. The public is invited. For more information, visit www.cherylmannhardin.com or call (334) 707-2488.