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Keep Virginia Beautiful $1K grant funding will allow Art Hive to return community’s support

Art Hive co-owner Kirsten Schneider stands with her portrait work in the store on Spring Hill Road. Photo by Rebecca J. Barnabi.

Art Hive Creative Reuse and Art Center on Spring Hill Road in Staunton is celebrating one year in business, and receiving a $1,000 grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful.

“The community support has been amazing,” said co-owner Kirsten Schneider of Staunton, who opened the business with high school friend, Mary Pearce, who lives in Richmond.

Schneider’s artwork includes portraits, acrylic, digital, dioramas and collages. For National Women’s Month, she painted a series of paintings of local women “working to make a difference.” She also freelances in graphic design work.

“We’re only a year in and there’s no other kind of store like [us] in Staunton,” Pearce said of the art opportunities and community space the Art Hive provides.

Pearce’s art includes found-object mosaics, textiles, jewelry and dying vintage tablecloths bright colors. She said the grant funding comes at the perfect time during Art Hive’s birthday month.

“We’re kind of blown away by all the wonderful people we’ve met so far,” Pearce said.

Art Hive is modeled after a Richmond store called ScrapRVA that provides arts and crafts while recycling and reusing products. Schneider and Pearce wanted a store that takes the environment into consideration. Pearce was inspired to do so after her brother, who works in a public school system, took her to visit a local dump and she saw the kinds of items that are wasted every day.

“We really have a passion for the community shopping in a community space,” Pearce said.

They also wanted the store to provide affordable art supplies. Previously, artists had to drive to Harrisonburg, Waynesboro or Charlottesville for supplies.

And they wanted space to display their own art and other artists’ work that was free of judgment and criticism, as well as offer classes and provide mentorships.

“I’m just excited to be able to offer free classes,” Schneider said of the grant funding which will allow the business to host weekend workshops for 14 artists to create four projects.

On Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, artists can sign up to create “Paper Mobiles,” “Fabric Critter,” “Cigar Box Shrine” or “Collage.”

All ages are welcome as most Art Hive projects are for “a wide variety of ages and abilities,” according to Pearce.

“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Pearce said.

For Staunton’s Happy Birthday America celebration, Art Hive will host two food trucks and vendors. Vendor space is $25 each.

In November, Art Hive will organize a women’s craft getaway weekend.

In late January or February 2025, Schneider is planning a city-wide craft weekend during which participants will be encouraged to visit different stores and restaurants throughout Staunton.

Art Hive is at 835 Spring Hill Road, Staunton, and is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. and Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m.

Art Hive Creative awarded $1K Keep Virginia Beautiful grant for July workshops – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.