Studio 116 closing its doors

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The studio that has been the catalyst for growing the arts in the Brundidge community is closing its doors but its directors will continue as strong supporters of the arts in the community.

Chris Rich and his wife Sara Dismukes opened Studio 116 in June 2012 with the mission of “Growing Community through the Arts” and for more than two years the couple has done just that. The performing arts and visual arts have been front and center at Studio 116. The gallery featured artwork by area artists and scores of musicians and vocalists in various genres have entertained.

But is not for the lack of talent that Studio 116 is shuttering.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Rich said he and his wife knew there was a wealth of talent in the Brundidge and Pike County areas and it was their mission to put that talent in the spotlight.

“We have been blown away by the depth and richness of the artistic and musical talent in our community,” Rich said. “The lack of talent is not the reason for our decision. Our primary reason for closing studio 116 is our lack of time to commit to the studio.”

Rich and his wife are members of the faculty at Troy University and professional obligations leave little time to devote to the studio.

“For the next three months, I would not be able to devote any time to the studio,” he said. “We have to work to have money to support and cultivate the studio but work leaves no time to devote to the studio. It’s a Catch 22.”

Rich said however, it’s only the current version of Studio 116 that is closing.

“The adventure of ‘Growing Community Through the Arts’ will definitely continue in our lives,” he said. “For events, we will partner with other businesses and organizations that have similar goals. We just won’t have the physical space of Studio 116.”

Rich cited EezTec and the Three Frogs Studio both on Main Street in Brundidge as potential partners in the efforts to continue to grow community through the arts.

“We also hope to work with the Brundidge Historical Society as they continue their support of the arts in the community,” Rich said. “We look forward to continuing the promotion and development of the arts within our community.”

The couple expressed appreciation to all of those who have supported Studio 116 and asked for their continued support of the arts in the Brundidge community.

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he is committed to the arts in Brundidge and is disappointed that Studio 116 is closing.

“I hate to see this happen,” he said. “Studio 116 has brought interest and flavor to Brundidge that we’ve not had before. It seemed that we were finding a niche in the arts and we want to continue promoting the arts.”

Ramage said the seed had been planted and was beginning to grow.

“Chris and Sara gave artists and musicians a place to showcase their talents,” Ramage said. “They also offered workshops of different kinds, markets, poetry readings, historic presentations and they sponsored the historic walk in the downtown area. We appreciate all they have done. What we need to do now is bring the community together and brainstorm in an effort to continue to grow Brundidge through the arts.”