When she attended Ballard High School in Seattle in the mid-80s, Jeanne’s art addiction became a problem. “There was no place to go,” she says. “They had few afterschool programs. There was Denny’s and the donut shop, but one had to pay.” Today, Jeanne creates art under the title Miss Amazing. Be amazed at her ART HQx studio at 413 7th Street in Hoquiam where everything is free and everybody is welcome.
The mother of two, elementary teacher and artist says she has drawn art on everything since she was a child. Not much has changed, except now she encourages the entire community to share in her love of art, for free.
ART HQx opened its doors on Loggers Play Day, 2019, right across the street from the Hoquiam Timberland Library. The former storefront consists of two large windows displaying wood building block creations and other art work in front of happy drapes in bright rainbow colors.
Jeanne is a welcoming and community-minded person. She is a member of the Hoquiam Business Association whose president Jody Peterson from Sadistik Sycles has supported ART HQx from the start. “I wanted this to be a space in town where everybody can go without having to pay money,” says Jeanne. “I want homeschoolers to have a space for messy art projects. I want children, teens and adults to come in and try out new art techniques and media.”
ART HQx has become quite busy. There are currently about 30 hours of free activity per month, contributions from Jeanne’s heart to the community. Whatever you want to do, she is on site to facilitate. She hosts family-friendly art projects such as candle making and paper-marbling. There are collaboration activities with guest artists. Kelly Hogaboom, The Vegan Tailor, recently conducted a t-shirt clinic and Green Witch Farms taught how to make flower crowns.
The teen digital art collaboration group DigiChill is open for kids from 12- to 18-years-old. Participants bring their devices and learn new techniques or skills from each other. Jeanne is overflowing with ideas and the studio is overflowing with wondrous creations including chalk flowers, rock sculptures, and sidewalk sudoku spilling out to the front of the building, all the way down 7th Street. A whiteboard in the studio invites kids and adults to add to a long list of projects they would like to try.
Inside of ART HQx, you will find a long open space with a great variety of neatly organized work stations along the walls. Rolling supply carts, a mobile sink, small chairs and beanbags, are all easily movable to accommodate projects and activities. There is a building block area for little artists. Big builders are welcome, too. There are huge chalkboards providing lots of empty surface to draw on while sections with guided activities invite the visitor to participate.
All Types of Art Is Welcome
Jeanne supports all the arts and humanities. She also encourages music, theater and literature in the studio. One chalkboard is dedicated to haiku poetry. Again, Miss Amazing has done her part to inspire. Some of her own beautiful haikus are written on the chalkboard inviting guests to try their hand at poetry.
At the back of the room, a former kitchen area holds a sink and cabinets with all imaginable art supplies. Glass vitrines protect materials and projects from chalk dust. “I like things clean,” Jeannie says. The glass doors also protect a small selection of art supplies for sale. “I’m not trying to compete with local stores,” she stresses. ”My goal is to sell for less than Amazon.”
The sale of art supplies provides a small part of the income needed to cover expenses. She welcomes collaboration with nonprofit organizations. Finances do not daunt Jeannie. “Rather than wait for somebody rich to come along and donate, I decided to give what I have right now,” she shares. A room in the back of the building is rented out to accomplished tole artist Judy Clark whose delicate painted wood creations are for sale on site. They make wonderful Christmas gifts!
ART HQx relies on donations, which may be left in a jar in the studio or via a monthly membership at Patreon. Membership levels start at $3 for chalk. ART HQx artists use lots of chalk, Jeanne says.
In-kind donations of art supplies are always welcome as well. Jeanne thanks Grays Harbor Dance for their donation of a number of small children’s chairs and the recent donors of a large-format paper cutter and a 3D printer. You can also donate your time and expertise. TOPS members helped refurbish the children’s chairs and worked on the paper-cutter and 3D printer. Ask Jeanne what you can do to help maintain and improve your hometown makerspace.
“We made it through our first year, in spite of Covid19,” she says happily. The studio is meticulously clean and fully compliant with COVID 19 regulations.
413 7th Street, Hoquiam