First you pick your own project...
“First you pick your own project,” explains 5-year-old McKenzie, daughter of Ashley and Zach Walterscheid, owners of Uncorked Art. “Then you paint it, and after that you have to make sure to leave a mark on the wall.” After every completed project at Uncorked Art Studio, located at 115 South Canyon Street, customers are invited to leave their handprint, design, or signature on the studio walls to foster a strong sense of community in Carlsbad. The artist/customer wall is lively and bright; full of unexpected textures and patterns that leap off of the deep gray walls. A total piece of art in its own right, many hands crafted the #uncorkedartnm wall over the past three years since the Walterscheid family purchased the building.
While many hands helped to create the community art piece inside the building, it was the grit and determination of a few members of the Walterscheid family that renovated the downtown storefront in a mere five weeks. Uncorked Art opened just in time to participate in the festivities of Cavernfest in 2018. Zach and Ashley, assisted by their parents, uncles, and nephews, stripped the old office space of the green carpet and raised the ceiling above the low hanging tiles that were in place. The entire building, inside and out, was painted. Zach refinished what remained of some original hardwood floors in the hallway and installed new flooring throughout the large and open main space. The family-style long table, the back counter, and complex modern light fixtures were all made especially for the studio by the family. When asked what she loves most about the studio, Ashley replied that there is always time for tinkering and improving. The studio constantly evolves. She mentioned the different phases of the painted entryway, and pointed out her latest project, the mosaic sidewalk in front of the store. The couple continues to be highly involved in the building itself and involved in the classes as well. Ashley and a few other regular teachers and guest teachers instruct customers in classes and during “come-and-go” sessions. Staff members walk customers through the entire process of a project whether it’s a ceramic piece, wood sign, canvas, or a mosaic. The studio posts weekly classes, camps, and workshops.
The couple laughed when asked if the studio had any requirements for a particular artist skill level to participate. Ashley quipped if her co-owner husband, Zach, could teach a painted wood sign class, then ANYONE could come in and complete a project successfully. Zach stroked his long beard and nodded thoughtfully in agreement. If two people with a young family can overhaul an entire building to create a studio space, anyone can come in off the street to try their hand at a new project.
Check out their website at www.uncorkedartnm.com for details. Uncorked Art is also available to rent for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and many other events. Just ask!
Article written by Kaity Hirst and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2020 Summer edition.