Art makes you happy: Suzanne’s Studio opens in Woodstock

Suzanne Soliday, left, looks over the shoulder of Kathy Black, of Woodstock, during a recent class. Rich Cooley/Daily

Woodstock residents are supporting art in their community.

That is the word fr0m Suzanne Soliday who, along with her husband Ted, a natural with pottery who is good with the kiln, opened up Suzanne’s Studio on March 9 on West Court Street in Woodstock.

“This is a very artistic community,” Soliday said. “We wanted to enhance our community, to bring art and to bring families together.”

It seems to be working. They have gotten a good reception from the community as well as bringing in out-of-towners, she said.

Town Manager Angela Clem said the studio brings a “fun energy” to West Court Street, complementing the established professional services on the block.

Stephanie Davis, of Woodstock, dips into her paint palette as she designs her travel mug inside Suzanne's Studio. Rich Cooley/Daily

“When I walk or drive on West Court Street, I always smile when I see the catenary lights ablaze under the awning and the planters, tables, chairs, and A-frame signage outside,” Clem said. “When a business pays attention to those enhancements, they signal that they are open, engaged and ready to share what they have with the community.”

The studio offers drawing lessons, painting lessons, and working with pottery. People can paint on canvas or on pottery. Individuals can walk in during business hours or groups can schedule what is called Paint pARTies in the studio’s party room.

The studio brings in families with children by scheduling kid-friendly events like Paint Me A Story, an example of which is children working with pottery and paint to turn an imprint of their hand into a dinosaur.

Art has been shown to increase a student’s ability in school Suzanne Soliday said. “It opens up learning, it helps with focus and then math improves and science improves.”

The studio also engages seniors by reaching out to retirement communities – it has a mobile art studio and can bring fun art lessons to people, she said.

Judy Baker, of Basye, touches up her mug inside Suzanne's Studio. Rich Cooley/Daily

Most people have never attempted to create art and walking into the studio can be intimidating for them. She said she wants to set them at ease before they even enter the light, airy studio.

“We have a sign outside that reads ‘Creating Art Makes You Happy’,” she said.

The business is also able to help the artisans in the community enhance their techniques, she added.

Clem said the business is bringing creative people of all ages into Woodstock’s downtown.

“Suzanne’s studio makes art accessible for all. We have fantastic artists, studios, and galleries in our town and throughout Shenandoah County. I know that it is just another essential element to a thriving local economy,” Clem said.

Gracie Davis, 9, of Woodstock, creates her Mandala art on a travel mug inside Suzanne's Studio. Rich Cooley/Daily

The couple moved about four years ago to Woodstock from Front Royal, where they ran a similar business.

Suzanne Soliday has taught art classes for elementary, middle and high school students at various Homeschool Cooperative Educational groups.

More Information

Location: 130 W. Court St., Woodstock.

Phone: 540-692-4208.

Teresa Funkhouser, of Toms Brook, makes a pattern on a serving platter inside Suzanne's Studio. Rich Cooley/Daily

Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. 1 to 8 p.m. Friday,  10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Website: www.suzannes-studio.net