Students Come To Studio With Bug Out Bag List for Survivalist Training

Students Come To Studio With Bug Out Bag List for Survivalist Training


As you know, we here are Bolm Studios appreciate our local schools and do our best to incorporate them into a part of the artistic community that we have created in our town.

Well, as the school year comes to a close for 2015, we are doing our best to send off the school kids with a great backpack filled with all of the necessary goodies for their outdoor adventures this summer. We have partnered with the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Fine Arts Camps to provide students with what they need for the summer ahead.

What’s in a Bug Out Bag List?

That’s why this week we are going to be hosting an event in our studio designed to help kids know what to pack in their bail out backpacks when going camping.

The Boy Scout Troop 196 Leader Joey Jenkins will be leading a demonstration on what exactly every scout needs to bring in his bag to keep safe in the wild. He will be earning both his public speaking and survivalism patch for this project.

This is just a portion of the pre summer camp activities we have planned. Many of them have to do with outdoor activities as part of an effort to keep kids active and healthy in the summer months. After all, it’s the best time of the year to play outside and stay active. Seeing kids cooped up in the house playing video games all day long during the summer is very sad.

Whether you are outside painting a landscape or learning how to survive in the wilderness by creating a fire or building a shelter, the important thing it to be outside and be active. The Boy Scouts have taken a great lead and special credit goes to kids like Joey Jenkins who simply want to make sure other scouts have everything they need in their own bug out bag lists for suvivalism.

What Should You Bring?

The only thing you will need to bring to the outdoors survivalist demonstration and the other events throughout this week’s pre-summer kickoff party is a bail out backpack and a pen and paper. Donations are $5 are suggested but not required.

We hope to bring this event to as many people as possible, and the donation helps us cover the costs that we as a storefront incur from hosting these events. It doesn’t give us enough to make money, but it does help us to keep from losing it.

One last thing to be sure to bring. A Friend! Bring a friend with and let’s get them interested in the great outdoors. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are hoping to get 10-15 new members each as a result of their respective events, but it sure would be great if we could go above and beyond that with 20 new members each.

The main event will be this Saturday from 10:30 AM and goes all the way until 7 PM with a BBQ lunch that everyone is welcome to attend. Stay tuned for more updates.

See you there!

Artistic Beauty in Custom 1911 Grips

handmade 1911 handgun gearFirearms typically get a bad wrap from the artistic community. Artists are generally more left-wing than the general population and it’s widely accepted that the second amendment is a right-wing issue.

This dichotomy unfortunately leads to a lot of negative portrayals of firearms in mainstream artistic expression, which forgets the rich culture of craftsmanship and artistry that accompanies the history of 1911 firearms.

It’s easy for someone who has never handled a gun or even seen one up close to write them off as being something fringe or something that only crazies can appreciate, but the firearms industry is actually full of artistry that few people recognize today and that is quite sad. If you look at many of the rifles of the 18th and 19th centuries, many of them are quite literally works of art. This isn’t solely for their elegant mechanical functionality, which is a piece of art in and of itself, but many firearms from this time period have beautiful engravings throughout the entire gun.

Some have full landscape depictions of nature, waterfowl, or a father and his son. As I’ve said, this artistry is really quite amazing and it continues right on into the present day.

Most modern day rifles or 1911 grips that you would buy at a sporting goods store won’t be sporting any ornate pieces of art on them, but why should we expect them to? We don’t see sporting goods stores selling pieces of art; they are consumer driven by the masses preferences, but this doesn’t mean that artistry in the firearms industry has disappeared.

In order to see some of the most beautiful artwork you have ever seen, look no further than the many custom 1911 grips available for one of America’s most popular handguns. As pictures above, these are ornate works of art that should be able to be appreciated by anyone and everyone.

In fact, the business behind making custom compact grips for 1911 guns is so large that some wood engravers make a full-time living just from selling the grips to this single handgun. Now imagine what the full firearm industry must look like.

The wooden stocks that appear on larger rifles and shotguns are often dressed with ornate engravings that turn them into original works of art. Even if an artist tried to recreate some of these pieces of a work, he wouldn’t be able to. They truly are originals.

This entire concept might sounds foreign to a lot of people, but it only does so because of their lack of understanding of history. You see, for many hundreds of years, a firearm was a centerpiece in a home. It held significance, purpose, and meaning. Not only would it serve for protection but also for sustenance. As a child would grow into an adult, the father would show them how to safely and properly use it, clean it, and store it.

Many families would even have a decoration firearm on the hearth, which is where much of the art would come into play. They would be decorated, carved, engraved, and inlayed to perfection to be shown off as pieces of art, which is what they were.

It’s time we start looking past our canvas papers to see the art around us. Art is everyone, even places artists don’t always look.

Accounts Receivable Turnover Lecture for Artists

You might be wondering what exactly this post is supposed to be about. Well, we have decided to rent out one of our study halls for a financial training seminar one weekend a month for the next three months. Normally we stick with art and music related activities, but our good friend and CPA, Tim, often goes on a lecture circuit giving tips on personal finance and a few other topics. I thought it would be a great idea to have him come in a give an accounting lecture for artists and start up art companies.
Tim Cook, CPA has been working in public accounting for more than ten years and has done everything from personal finance to corporate budget management. He has a ton of knowledge that he can share with us to help get our business ideas off the ground.

One area that Tim will be discussing is the way artists and art studios collect money from customers and clients. Tim explains how a studio’s account receivables turnover ratio shows how well the company is collecting revenues and payments from its clients. I find this fascinating, mainly because I am so financially ignorant.

This basic analysis can help improve how you do business with you customers and it can even help you keep your art store running. I know. I know. I don’t really like to listen to this kind of lecture either, but I assure you that Tim is a great speaker and will make it informative and fun.

Another topic that will be discussed is the accounting contribution margin ratio. This accounting term is used to describe how much money the art studio will be able to contribute to the running of the business. Tim explains analyzing this metric is crucial to understanding how your store or business will operate.

Like I said, finance and accounting is not my strong suit. This isn’t exactly what we usually present here at Bolm Studios, but I think it will be beneficial for all of us artists and studio owners who are trying to make a living selling and teaching art.

Obviously, after the session we will have our usual class schedules available for anyone interested in our normal classes. Feel free to email or call the studio if you want to book any studio time or sign up for this great series. We’d love to have you.

Guitar Lesson Studio Space

guitar-trainingWe are happy to announce that Bolm Studios has recently completed a three month long renovation project to turn what used to be wasted space in the southeast wing into brand new lesson studios. Obviously, we will be using some of the lesson studio for traditional art classes like drawing, painting, and sculpture, but we are also branching out into the musical arts.

It all started about a year ago when we were at the local college performance of a guitar ensemble that consisted of eight college students all working toward their classical guitar performance degree.

After the concert, I was particularly interested in the meeting the director or conductor of the group. I walked up and introduced myself and had a casual conversation about our studio and where we wanted to go in the future. I mentioned that we had thought about putting on an addition for teaching space but hadn’t started the project yet.

About a week later, I got a call from the conductor, Nathaniel Hawkthorne. He said that he’d love to partner with us if we ever wanted to build out proper lesson rooms in our studio. Thus, the adventure began. We drew up plans and worked with several instructors in the area to see what types of rooms and accommodations would be beneficial to the students’ learning.

Finally, after months of planning, we started the renovations about three months ago and we are finally finished. We couldn’t be more excited!

Yes, that’s right. We are going to start offering guitar lessons starting this fall. We are proud to partner with local guitar master, Nathaniel Hawkthorne. Nathaniel has a master’s degree in music theory from the Chicago Institute and has taught classical and jazz lessons for over twenty years. Nathaniel is also an expert in guitar dating. He will be teaching a course about how to tell how old your guitar is by reading the Fender Serial Number database. We feel privileged that he wants to partner with our studio to educate his current students as well as new ones.

Nathaniel will be teaching all skill levels of guitar lessons as well as general music theory, sight singing and hear training, class piano, and special three week class about the history of popular music. I can’t wait to attend that one myself!

This is a wonderful opportunity to start your children in a quality music program that they can develop for the rest of their lives. Or if you have started learning how to play guitar and want to further your knowledge and skills, you can sign up now.

I’m sure the schedules will start booking up quickly, so either give us a call or you can log onto our page about guitar lessons to find out more information and what classes will be available.

I almost forgot. We will be offering group training as well, so if you have a group of friends who want to learn together, come on down!

Progressive Word Art: Writers and Authors Helping Students to Understand Grammar

word-artNext month we have a really innovative gallery piece coming to the Bolm Studios. The title of the exhibit will be called “Progressive Word Art,” and in all of my years of following art studios and galleries I haven’t ever come across anything like it.

The curators came to me with the idea and I was simply stricken. The exhibit takes place during March all across the country in support of Reading Month. March is a month dedicated toward encouraging kids to get out there and read a book because it’s not only fun, but it’s good for your brain! Well this art exhibit is a campaign aimed towards adults to remind them that reading month isn’t just for kids and it’s okay for adults to read books too. That said, there are plenty of things for kids to enjoy at this exhibit too.

This is all well and good, but it’s not what makes the exhibit so special. What makes the exhibit so unique is the way the material is presented.

The gallery is brought down to a dim lighting and the exhibit utilizes a series of projectors and holographic deployment tools that project words onto the walls and floors of the gallery. The holographic projectors make the words look as if they are floating in the middle of the room and it really is quite an experience. There is also the option to wear 3D glasses to give the words texture and the appearance of popping out at you.

The curators each year pick a series of poems, selections of short stories, and quotes on the writing process and the importance of reading to be displayed in the series. This year will feature work from Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Emily Dickenson, and Martin Luther King Jr., all of whom are world-renown writers.

On top of the literature section there will also be an educational writing section that displays common English mistakes that are most often made by students and adults alike such as examples of principle vs. principal. The exhibit displays a series of 3D questions, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc., where you can actually interact with the exhibit.

If you opt to go into the educational section, everyone brings with them an iclicker through the gallery and answers questions as they go along. Questions aren’t that hard and mostly relate to spelling, comma placement, or word usage confusion. For example, one of the questions on last year’s exhibit illustrated the difference between compliment and complement, providing examples for each of them and asking the audience to choose.  As you go through the exhibit you bring your clicker and choose which answer you would like to select. If you get it right a green light flashes, and if you get it wrong a red light flashes.

I’ve been in the art business for quite a long time and I cannot remember an exhibit that was as interesting, innovative, and interactive as thing one. I highly advice taking a tour through the 3D section if you get a chance to come out and test your English and reading skills!

See you there!

Local Artist Encourages Kids to Keep Dental Health

Local Artist Encourages Kids to Keep Dental Health


A new exhibit that is making its way to the Bolm Studio seeks bring awareness to dental health and hygiene.

As a part of National Children’s Dental Health Month, a group of Hartford oral surgeons created an art exhibit that will be traveling all across the country during the month of February. We are not only lucky enough to have a version of the exhibit at your studios but we also have two of the oral surgeons coming in to speak with us while their exhibit is on display.

For those who didn’t know, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a campaign sponsored by the American Dental Association to raise awareness about the importance or oral health. The ADA has been doing this for many years now.

The artwork on display is a series of reproduction paintings, telling a story of two teeth, one who takes care of himself and one who doesn’t. One eats lots of candy and never brushes his teeth, while the other only has candy every once in awhile and brushes his teeth and rinses with fluoride. In the end, the tooth that eats lots of candy has to get lots of fillings to make up for his poor oral care.

“This exhibit is really for children and parents alike, seeing as a parent is primarily responsible for a child’s dental hygiene,” said one of the oral surgeons.

I spoke with the two doctors who will be speaking at the event later this month about their line of work and how it relates to their demonstration and it was an answer I didn’t quite expect.

They informed me that oral surgeons do more serious procedures than basic teeth cleaning and cavity placement. They do dental implants in the Hartford area or the removal of wisdom teeth. As for the former, they informed me that installing dental implants involves serious costs and it is a big procedure. And one of the most common reasons they see patients getting dental implants installed is from continuous lack of care.

They told me that they wouldn’t be seeing any of these kids anytime in the next twenty years. 95% of their patients are full grown adults. But they said that it hurts them so badly to see people who have taken such poor care of their teeth all their lives that they need dental implants or other serious surgeries, so they hope their efforts to educate the youth will cause them not to have to see these kids in their offices.

Since the exhibit is a serious of reproductions, it is able to be in a number of different locations throughout the country all at the same time. These two doctors will be speaking at our event, then traveling to Texas for their next speaking engagement. The exhibit, titled “The Travels of a Tooth” will be on display for the entire month of February, so please stop on by and check it out before it moves to the Bloomfield Hills area dental implant museum in Michigan. Bring your kids and teach them the importance of good dental hygiene. It can save them a smile and save you a buck for their fillings!

Printmaking Classes This Month

Printmaking Classes This Month



Looking for something special to do with your significant other this month that isn’t the usual dinner and a movie? We still have a few spots available for our printmaking classes this month. We have spots open in the Thursday and Saturday classes, so be sure to call if you are interested.

That’s right, in addition to renting out studio space, we offer printmaking classes that feature are a wonderful, hands on experiences with the printmaking process. You have a choice of two evenings or one entire day.  The Thursday class runs both Thursday and Friday evenings, and the Saturday class runs all day Saturday.

During one of our printmaking workshops, you will not only see how the process works, but you will be able to create your own artwork! That’s right, everyone who attends one of the printmaking workshops gets to create, design, and run an entire edition of custom, original prints. So let the creative juices fly because you will be printing your own work.

The first step is set up. Our instructor will show you how to set up your workstation and how to use the tools that we will be using. He will also show you basic clean up procedures. Remember to wear some older clothes because we will be working with inks all day long, and while some of them are water-based, even those can get messy and will be hard to get out of your clothing. Your best bet will be to wear some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Second, we’ll work with your to create a custom image for your print, one that fits you and your personality. You can pick from some of our premade images or you can draw your own. We’ll then go over the ways in which you can transfer the image onto a piece of printmaker’s linoleum and then you’re ready to start carving out your image! It takes a while to get the carving down, so we will some you some tips on how to best carve out your images for optimal results.

After your image is fully carved out, we will ink the blocks and print. We use Jives DKY paper for our prints and you will be able to make an edition of ten.

What is the cost?

The cost is 150.00, and this includes absolutely everything you will need for the day: paper, ink, carving tools, a press to do the printing, and an atmosphere for creative discovery! The only thing you have to worry about bringing is an enthusiastic spirit and creative mind to help out the printing process.

We do run our printmaking workshops every few months, but spaces usually fill up pretty fast because we limit the size of the classes. In order to get the best one-on-one instruction we limit classed to only six students, so you don’t wait too long to decide or you’ll have to wait until next time!

So if you’ve ever thought you had that creative strike or just want to try something new, head on down for this month’s printmaking workshops.

Sharing Studio Space With Yoga

Sharing Studio Space With Yoga




You heard it right! Recently, we have had a few individuals approach us about sharing our studio space with a local few yoga instructors.

Last week, a couple, both of whom teach yoga to a small, but faithful group of attendees, asked us if we would be interested in renting out space in our second floor gallery on the first and third Tuesdays of each month for their yoga class.

My initial reaction was, “Sure, why not?” I am always in favor of helping out community members, especially ones who are active enough to be running their own yoga classes. But I knew that I should speak with some of the artists who have their work on display in the upstairs gallery to see if they were alright with a yoga group coming in twice a month during their exhibits. I know that yoga wouldn’t be too disruptive or rambunctious, but I still thought it common courtesy to call and tell them.

I called up all of the artists personally to talk them and not a single one of them saw any issue with a yoga instruction class being taught. In fact, many of the artists thought it would be good exposure for their art. I reminded them that this would obviously not take place during normal business hours, so it wouldn’t affect any of the face time that their artwork would be receiving. The instructors had requested a 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. time frame, and we close down at 4 p.m. on weekdays, so there would be no time conflict at all.

I am glad to be able to help out the community in this way. Maybe by letting this couple use the art gallery for yoga after hours, they will be able to grow their classes, or even open up a shop of their own. Meanwhile, I am getting new people into the studio that would not otherwise have come in and exposing them to community artwork. It’s a win-win for both of us.

Additionally, the couple said that they think the gallery will make for a quiet, serene place to practice their yoga. They explained that yoga is a time of self-meditation and getting rid of all worldly distractions. They both thought that the lighting and ambiance, abstract and interpretive art would help this process immensely both for them and their class. All the better! I am glad that they will be appreciating the artwork during their yoga classes.

This whole experience has got me to thinking that maybe we should start featuring other community activities after hours. Perhaps an open mic night or poetry readings? Now that I see there is a sort of demand for spaces like this in our community, it seems a shame not to be having events like this go on at night. I’d be happy to entertain anyone’s ideas on the subject. Shoot me over an email if you have an idea that we could use our studio space for. Nothing too late, preferably ending at 9 p.m. or earlier.

Local Students Participate in Print Show

Local Students Participate in Print Show


bolm-1-300x225At Bolm Studios, we believe very much that art is beneficial to the community as a whole and the younger you get involved in art and the art making process, the better! For this reason, we regularly put on after-school art programs for our community’s youth to give them a sparked interest in art. Parents and teachers alike have told us what a great impact our efforts are having on their children and we try at every opportunity to help our community’s youth get involved, regardless of the resources they have available to them at their house.

So as a part of our continued effort to boost local youth art programs, we’re happy to be hosting the local school district’s middle and high school’s art competition this year at Bolm Studios. Grade’s 7-12 will each be competing in a class-wide print exhibition on the theme “What makes life worth living?”

Students are encouraged to draw on the district-wide theme and create a piece of art that signifies what they believe makes life worth living, illustrating what gives them inspiration, motivation, and purpose.

Students will be printing in any one of four different mediums, linocut, intaglio, screen, or wood cut, with the ability to compete in a maximum of two mediums. Each section will be judged separately by the students themselves and the school’s art faculty, and although the public cannot vote for the winners, the exhibit is completely free and open to the public.

This is our first year hosting both the middle school and high school’s exhibition, and we could not be more thrilled. Last year, we hosted the middle school’s painting exhibition as a fundraiser for more art supplies, and it was widely successful. The look on these students’ faces when they see their artwork prominently displayed in a professional art studio is priceless. They run home to tell their parents once the art is hung and bring them down to the studio, oftentimes bringing aunts, uncles, and family friends. It really gives the students a boost of self-esteem in the work that they are doing at school.

Just like last year, we plan to have the exhibit open for two full weeks, and plan to have two main events surrounding it. We will have an opening gallery, where students will come with their parents and hang their artwork. There will be a student led band playing music in the background and a short speech by the student’s respective teachers about the contest.

One week later, the second event takes place where the voting and judging will happen. Similar to the first, a teacher will speak and there will be some Hors d’oeuvre and soft drinks provided for those in attendance. After voting takes place, the winners will be announced and awarded their prizes.

After this, the prints will stay on exhibit for a full week with their placing under each print.

We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s event and hope it is as successful as last year’s. Here’s to a great student print show 2014! And for anyone interested in the printmaking process, check out some of our classes.

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