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Vine Street Studio gives artists and customers a special place

Vine Street Studio is both an active artist studio and a retail shop. The artists who have studios there are, from left, Lisa Townsend, who is also the owner, Jane Nichol, Annie Karr and Leslie-Anne.1 / 6
The exterior still reflects the look of the Vine Street Florist.2 / 6
Annie Karr looks to her art as healing and whimsical.3 / 6
Leslie-Anne is detail oriented using everything from the internal parts of watches to the base of an old lamp (the feet) to create a wide assortment of art including dolls such as this one called "Nobody's Perfect."4 / 6
One of the many items Jane Nichol creates are these popular leather wrist cuffs.5 / 6
Mosaic is a favorite medium for Lisa Townsend. This creation is called "Monkey on my Back."6 / 6

It is hard to decide where to look when you enter the Vine Street Studio. It is filled with fun, whimsical and artful items. It includes creations by the four artists, who have their studios there as well as items from many other vendors, free trade items and a new line of bath and beauty products.

Lisa Townsend is now the sole owner of Vine Street Studio. Jane Nichol who had been in business with Townsend decided to scale back after the studio was up and running.

"We both realized that the shop was taking me away from the direction I wanted to go," said Nichol. "I lost sight of my own dreams and got caught up in the excitement of the shop. Lisa is great with people. I couldn't be more proud of her." Nichol remains involved as one of the four artists, who maintain studio space in the Vine Street Studio.

She is joined by Lisa Townsend, Annie Karr and Leslie-Anne. Each of them has a different creative style. Yet they all love to use found objects and are regularly on the lookout for items each other could use.

Annie Karr, a veteran of the health care field, looks towards creating whimsical and healing art.

"Since I was a little kid I have been making greeting cards for people," said Karr, who creates, cards, mini-masterpieces, paintings, collage creations and does hand lettering. "I have been observing the human condition for 20 years. I like to help people, so my art focuses in the sunny side of life. I try to counteract the crisis and pain."

Karr has always worked on her art alone so being a part of a creative group has been a new experience and it is working for her. Karr also does art for children's rooms.

Leslie-Anne makes things out of found objects as well as paints.

"One of my things is that a lot of my creations have wings," said Leslie-Anne. "I have been an artist my whole life. When I was five I started going to art classes with my mom. My mom is the inspiration for our whole family." She returned to Minnesota from Sedona, Ariz., because Lisa opened the studio. She is Lisa's aunt.

Jane Nichol recycles everything into art. From a set of coasters to old leather belts she has a vision of what it might be.

"Everything I see is useful for my art," said Nichol. "I love to recycle vintage pieces into new art." In her future she plans to write a children's book and has several inventions in mind.

"I love being here at the studio. It is more motivating to be surrounded by fellow artists," said Nichol.

Lisa Townsend likes to think of her art as non-traditional mosaic.

"I work with a lot of found items," said Townsend. Assemblage is one of her creative mediums as well.

As the owner, Townsend has brought into the studio a number of free trade items as well as art from a wide assortment of other vendors.

Vine Street Studio, located at 527 Vine St., is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and occasionally on Sunday. For more information, call (715) 684-9562.

"If the sign is out. I am open," said Townsend. "We have heard a lot of positive comments and business has been good."