Storefront Gallery & Studio
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin 53085
Krista Irby (Kirby), Co-Creator of StoreFront Gallery & Studio.
What is your role in the organization/business?
My role is a strong focus on enriching children and young teens in the world of art. I create and teach workshops to the younger art crowd.
What organization/business are you affiliated with?
I am the creator of Kirbygirl, a brand and lifestyle for women. I am a member of Sheboygan Visual Artists (SVA), and a graphic designer for Sargento Foods.
How did you arrive at the idea of starting your organization/business?
The idea came about when my seven year old said his art wasn’t getting critiqued in a positive way from his peers. It was then I thought, “I can’t have him getting discouraged by people who might not understand all forms of art.” I wanted to create not just a studio for myself, but one in which my children and others could grow as artists.
Why is such an organization/business important in your community?
Art is important in any community. I saw a great opportunity in Sheboygan Falls. Living mostly in bigger cities throughout my life, I found it’s a lot harder to get recognition for work and accomplishments. I jumped at the opportunity in Falls, where I saw the commitment, love, and enthusiasm the town has for new projects and the potential for community growth.
What is the vision of your organization/business?
My vision is for children to follow their dreams as artists. I want to recreate, as much as I can, the experience I had as a young artist, being encouraged and guided by mentors who were attentive and insightful. I simply want to give each child the opportunity to come in and create art when they feel the creative spark.
How do you define an art community?
I tend to view the art community from the larger scale perspective, and it’s my desire to help bring artists together at all age and skill levels. I’m currently working on a program called PART: People’s Art. It’s something we have to all work at together as unified art community. My main focus with PART is connecting local businesses with local art. When we work together, we all grow in the same direction.
Name one success your organization/business has experienced.
We just recently teamed up with the Sheboygan Falls Rec Dept. We were so stoked because our workshop sold out! We worked with about 30 people of all ages and it was such a joy to see families creating together.
Name one challenge your organization/business has experienced.
The biggest challenge is trial and error. Every artist fails—that’s what makes you a little better each time. We learn a little more each month about business strategy, budgeting, communicating ideas and what our strengths and weaknesses are—as individuals and as a team.
Where can we find information about your organization?
You can follow us on Facebook storefront gallery and studio. You can check out our website storefront-studio.com. We love people to stop in and check out the place. If you see us working, please come in to check out what we are doing. Most classes and times are scheduled by appointment only. Feel free to personally call or email.
Erika L. Block is a professional writer, artist and art director working exclusively with the art, publishing and music industries through her company, Creative Studios. Connect with her at facebook.com/elblockcreative.