SM
I started teaching art out of my home almost thirty years ago. I was starting to get quite a few students so, with much fear and trepidation, I decided to open a full scale business. So, in 1987, my husband Chuck & I began looking for retail space for the studio. Fortunately, we discovered the Tannery and our wonderful landlord, David Hall. There was a small space upstairs in the main mall that we thought we could work with. At that time Chuck was doing a lot of photography and we decided to teach art and photography together. There was just enough room for a couple of tables and a tiny darkroom. We built some cabinets to hold artwork and supplies and we were on our way. Because we were both teaching, we called it Lutz & Lutz Studios. Unfortunately, the photography didn’t work out and I was just teaching art. It was a very difficult time because now there were business bills to pay and not many students. Also, my mom, Mary, became ill and passed away. It was a pretty rocky road for the first couple of years! We managed to have our first Art Show the second year, mostly my art and a few students. It was nothing like the recent Student Art Shows we have had a Newburyport City Hall. Chuck made a bunch of display stands that we put (thanks to David Hall), in the main mall area. The show was a success in that we attracted a lot of attention to the studio and it was an invaluable learning experience, mostly learning what not to do, from our mistakes. After a few years my business was growing, at least to the point of holding its own and we needed more room to grow. The space which is now Ania’s Massage became available and we jumped at the chance to be able to at least have room for a few easels and some room to walk around. Once again, the whole Tannery crew was extremely helpful, allowing Chuck to use an empty space to build bookcases and some more cabinets. The biggest problem with the space, however was that there was no running water! Everyone had to use the little bathroom for water and to clean up. Besides that, there were no windows! It was pretty stuffy and warm in the summer. But we hung in there for five or six years until our current space became available. The space was the studio of Keith Sullivan, a professional photographer. It was 1000 sq. feet and Keith had installed an air conditioning unit on the roof, not to mention running water! It was perfect for us! It took a while to scrape and spackle the walls and paint. Then Chuck installed a new sink, counters, cabinets, light fixtures and shelves on the wall. The only drawback was that we still had no windows, just one door with a little glass in it. Back then, that part of the Tannery was just one long, kinda dingy, hall with doors! We approached David with a design in keeping with the rest of the Tannery and asked if we could cut open the walls and put in windows and another door. He agreed to pay for the materials if Chuck did the work. He did, we did, and now we have the studio as it looks today. I changed the name to The Artists Playground, a name that had been in my head for years! I approach both my art and the teaching of art as a process that should be fun, spontaneous and enjoyable. So, I thought The Artists Playground would be a fitting name! Since then we have made some changes. The area to the side was at first a small gallery, then storage, then Chucks Graphic Design business, then a teaching area and now has come full circle to become Minutia, a beautiful little gallery. We have recently installed new, energy efficient lighting and a small office area. In 2012 we refurbished both of the side walls with cabinets and new counter space. This year we have added a projector and screen and we hope to be offering some art appreciation classes. You would think we might be settled in by now but if we keep revitalizing then we will always be injecting new life into our studio! Our hope is that this year (2013-2014) we will be revamping the back wall/kitchen/sink area. It is now more than 25 years at the Tannery and we have grown to having almost one hundred students take lessons every week! I love our studio, our students, and having the opportunity to share with our students, the blessings and talents that God has given me. I’m looking forward to meeting you as a visitor or, hopefully, a student!
Pat & Chuck had an early show at the Art Association. Pat’s oils & Chuck’s photo’s.

A History of The Artists Playground

Our first logo. Sandy Turner helped us to print a brochure.
SM
I started teaching art out of my home almost thirty years ago. I was starting to get quite a few students so, with much fear and trepidation, I decided to open a full scale business. So, in 1987, my husband Chuck & I began looking for retail space for the studio. Fortunately, we discovered the Tannery and our wonderful landlord, David Hall. There was a small space upstairs in the main mall that we thought we could work with. At that time Chuck was doing a lot of photography and we decided to teach art and photography together. There was just enough room for a couple of tables and a tiny darkroom. We built some cabinets to hold artwork and supplies and we were on our way. Because we were both teaching, we called it Lutz & Lutz Studios. Unfortunately, the photography didn’t work out and I was just teaching art. It was a very difficult time because now there were business bills to pay and not many students. Also, my mom, Mary, became ill and passed away. It was a pretty rocky road for the first couple of years! We managed to have our first Art Show the second year, mostly my art and a few students. It was nothing like the recent Student Art Shows we have had a Newburyport City Hall. Chuck made a bunch of display stands that we put (thanks to David Hall), in the main mall area. The show was a success in that we attracted a lot of attention to the studio and it was an invaluable learning experience, mostly learning what not to do, from our mistakes. After a few years my business was growing, at least to the point of holding its own and we needed more room to grow. The space which is now Ania’s Massage became available and we jumped at the chance to be able to at least have room for a few easels and some room to walk around. Once again, the whole Tannery crew was extremely helpful, allowing Chuck to use an empty space to build bookcases and some more cabinets. The biggest problem with the space, however was that there was no running water! Everyone had to use the little bathroom for water and to clean up. Besides that, there were no windows! It was pretty stuffy and warm in the summer. But we hung in there for five or six years until our current space became available. The space was the studio of Keith Sullivan, a professional photographer. It was 1000 sq. feet and Keith had installed an air conditioning unit on the roof, not to mention running water! It was perfect for us! It took a while to scrape and spackle the walls and paint. Then Chuck installed a new sink, counters, cabinets, light fixtures and shelves on the wall. The only drawback was that we still had no windows, just one door with a little glass in it. Back then, that part of the Tannery was just one long, kinda dingy, hall with doors! We approached David with a design in keeping with the rest of the Tannery and asked if we could cut open the walls and put in windows and another door. He agreed to pay for the materials if Chuck did the work. He did, we did, and now we have the studio as it looks today. I changed the name to The Artists Playground, a name that had been in my head for years! I approach both my art and the teaching of art as a process that should be fun, spontaneous and enjoyable. So, I thought The Artists Playground would be a fitting name! Since then we have made some changes. The area to the side was at first a small gallery, then storage, then Chucks Graphic Design business, then a teaching area and now has come full circle to become Minutia, a beautiful little gallery. We have recently installed new, energy efficient lighting and a small office area. In 2012 we refurbished both of the side walls with cabinets and new counter space. This year we have added a projector and screen and we hope to be offering some art appreciation classes. You would think we might be settled in by now but if we keep revitalizing then we will always be injecting new life into our studio! Our hope is that this year (2013-2014) we will be revamping the back wall/kitchen/sink area. It is now more than 25 years at the Tannery and we have grown to having almost one hundred students take lessons every week! I love our studio, our students, and having the opportunity to share with our students, the blessings and talents that God has given me. I’m looking forward to meeting you as a visitor or, hopefully, a student!

A History of The Artists Playground

Our first logo. Sandy Turner helped us to print a brochure.