Monday, July 15, 2024

Leavenworth Art Haus celebrates one year of art and creativity

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LEAVENWORTH – On Apr. 1, the Leavenworth Art Haus celebrated its first year of operation, offering a space and supplies for all ages and abilities to decorate and create. 

“This was a big milestone just to make it to a year…I never thought it would get to this point and to still be excited and to still be like, this is going to be better than I expected, it's really rewarding,” said Owner Katie Miethe.

The laid-back studio is designed to provide the supplies for whatever visitors are in the mood to create. They can choose to paint on ceramics, wood, or canvas or have more structured creativity through paint-by-numbers or diamond art. The price is by item, ranging from $10 to $50, with paint, studio time, and glaze included.

Melissa Fry and Kirian Williams, on a mother-daughter trip from Snohomish, chose a ceramic mushroom and bowl to paint during their session. The two said they found the studio on a quick Google search and were excited to find something in town that didn’t involve consumption. 

“I love that it's something fun to do that doesn't involve eating or drinking, you know what I mean? We love the outdoor stuff, we love going and hiking…but it’s something to do in the evening that’s fun and good for every age group,” said Fry.

This aspect has favored the downtown studio by bringing in all kinds of visitors and forging unlikely scenarios.

Miethe says she’s had dads who are not artistically inclined end up invested in their art, sitting alone and painting while the rest of the family has moved its attention elsewhere. A Jordanian woman who had never painted before cried when she had finished her project, discovering an unrealized talent. In another instance, the studio offered a seven-year-old and his grandmother quality time, and a better option than following the family to a brewery.

“When they left, [the grandmother] said, “You know what? I've never had any one-on-one time with him until today. So, thank you for having a space where we could come and spend some time together,” said Miethe.

The studio has attracted visitors and locals alike with events like Pass the Canvas and weekly art classes for ages six and up, as well as private events such as birthday parties and bridal showers. Alexia Hughes, a Cascade High School sophomore, attended an Art Haus event with her family a little less than a year ago and has been returning on her own almost every week since. Hughes has found art as a relaxing outlet, and the studio offers all the supplies she needs at an affordable price.

“It's just a great business and place to be. You don't have to worry about anything. They're completely judge free. They love everything you do. You never have to worry about cleaning up and stuff. She does it all for you,” said Hughes.

Miethe's first year in business has been challenging, as He has had to adapt to the seasons' unpredictability, learn how to manage events, and find ways to bring more business to the end of downtown. 

Yet, the Art Haus has surpassed all of her expectations. Opening the Art Haus in Leavenworth was a lofty dream that became a reality for Miethe, and she’s felt an overwhelming amount of support from both tourists and the community. Miethe said in just under a year, she’s already received repeat customers, ranging from Mount Vernon to Idaho. Just recently, it received the 2023 Emerging Business award from the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.

“It's been so cool to see the people that have lived here for their whole lives, that have grown up here, just embrace us even though we're not from here. I feel like the community has wrapped their arms around us to help us, and the other business owners in town come and help support us,” said Meithe.

Looking forward, Miethe hopes to continue creating a comfortable and welcoming space inside the studio. She also hopes to expand her reach within the community by partnering with school art teachers to collaborate on more events and even feature student artwork in the studio. A kiln is also on the list.

The Leavenworth Art Haus is located at 617 Front St. and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday. More information can be found at leavenwortharthaus.com.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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