Batavia art studio to move downtown this fall

Sep 8, 2015








BATAVIA — After opening her studio at different spots throughout the city, including the last six years on Harvester Avenue, Kim Argenta looks forward to planting roots downtown.

Art ah la Carte is expected to open by Nov. 1 at 39 Jackson St.

“I decided to feel out the area and I wanted to be part of (the Business Improvement District). They’ve got activities going on like Summer in the City and the Wine Walk,” she said Wednesday at her east side location. “I estimate business will double in the first six months of being there just from exposure.”

Studio space is much larger and will allow her to accommodate more people for classes, special events and room rentals. A roomy back area alone is bigger than her workshop, she said.

Argenta already has plans to revise a program that’s become popular with adults. Monet and Merlot will include one of the artist’s hand-painted wine glasses for $5, which is then deducted at the following class. Subsequent classes will also include a $2 discount and the glasses will be displayed in her studio for returning patrons.

The class involves painting lessons and lots of encouragement so that participants can complete a project that evening. The merlot is a bring-your-own option for those that may wish to have a drink. Her studio averages a dozen students at a time and has “uncomfortably” squeezed in 32, which won’t be a problem in the new place, she said.

“It is the most popular class,” she said. “When you give them that option to bring in their own beverage, it became more appealing. It’s a night to go out and socialize.”

Other attractions for her downtown space will be resident artists to teach drawing, cartooning, oil painting and creating signs. Argenta focuses on watercolor, acrylics and mixed media.

She won’t be packing up just yet, though, as the Stafford resident will continue her line-up of events until she officially moves onto Jackson Street.

A Downton Abbey Paint will go from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10. Participants are asked to wear a vintage hat and bring a vintage teacup for the occasion. They will be served tea, cookies and a related picture to replicate during the event.

She can’t wait to be part of the wine walk, which may not be this year due to her November move-in date. She also plans to join the Batavia Society of Artists and join forces with downtown business owner Brian Kemp, who hosted an artist-related event this summer in Jackson Square, she said.

“I feel like we struggle to get people on board to work as a group,” she said. “Going downtown, we’re going to be a group. It’s going to be so much easier to get people on board.”

Other perks are having more parking, not being so landlocked and being able to offer customers more things to do, she said. Instead of waiting for one’s child to finish class, a parent will be able to shop or grab a cup of coffee, and other students can go get lunch or dinner nearby.

Her new site was formerly Carlson’s Studio. It is to get a white paint job to better reflect light and some other aesthetic revisions. She will be leasing the space with certain plans to stay.

“I can see selling the business when I retire,” she said. “But that’s going to be a long time down the road.”

Pre-registration for all classes is required. For more information, call (585) 245-1655 or go towww.artalc.vpweb.com.

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Fundraiser in memory of mom

BATAVIA — Although artist Kim Argenta believes in creativity, she plans to keep at least one thing exactly the same this fall.

Brush Out Cancer is a fundraiser for American Lung Association of Western New York. It’s set for the second weekend in November.

“It’s in memory of my mom,” she said.

Her mom, Margaret “Mickey” Yasses, died of lung cancer Dec. 15, 2013. A 1955 graduate of Batavia High School, Yasses had worked at the Genesee County Department of Social Services for more than 20 years, was a member of the Red Hatters and a camping enthusiast.

Her absence has prompted Argenta to join the Association’s board and raise money for the cause the last two years.

This year’s two-day Brush Out Cancer event will be in her new studio at 39 Jackson St. Set to begin Nov. 13, it’s a weekend of a juried art show of painters from pre-kindergarteners to senior citizens. There will also be a silent auction and vendor displays.

That is to be followed by a Kids Paint event and later a Monet and Merlot class, a silent auction and wine-tasting Nov. 14. All proceeds will go to the Association.

For more information or to register, call (585) 245-1655 or go to www.artalc.vpweb.com.

— By Joanne Beck