Featured photo by Daniel White Photography
When Greensboro’s Shelf Life Art & Supply Co. opened on Oct. 1, 2014, owner and mixed-media artist Cassandra Liuzzo solidified her goal to create a sustainable-based art culture hub to attract new artists and to help keep some of her friends here, who were venturing away. She looked at it as an investment in Greensboro’s art community and the surrounding community. From art classes to getting out and networking with other artists and galleries— she lives and breathes art.
Shelf Life Art & Supply Co. extends well beyond the plethora of new and used arts and crafts supplies found on the inside. Liuzzo said she specifically specializes in all sorts of donated/or store credited materials to make art. She also offers professional custom framing that includes museum-quality matte and glass options, canvas stretching, shadow boxes, frame moldings, archival and more (see an online list of items framed).
She said that artists may bring in materials they are not going to use and get store credit for supplies they want now so that she can resell their old items at affordable prices to other artists.
Professional artists and hobbyists can come in and share their goals with what they want to do with certain materials, and Liuzzo said that Shelf Life helps brainstorm and explore other materials together. “We enable artists to express their creativity,” she said.
Liuzzo is excited about her art class offerings and said to be sure and sign up early for the “Bob Ross Landscape Oil Painting Workshop” with Julie Belnap as they book fast, and the March classes are already sold out.
Her two ongoing eight-week semester hour-long drawing classes (see dates/times below) include “Draw & Learn” for grades K-5 with Nina Green on Saturday mornings teach students the foundations of how to draw by breaking down images into easy-to-interpret shapes, lines, and textures, working with graphite, ink, soft pastel, oil pastel, and watercolor.
“Drawing from Life for Teens” (grades 6-9) with Nina Green on Saturday afternoons is considered the next step from Draw & Learn and introduces students to some of the fundamentals of life drawing, working on modeling skills, shading, and the basics of values in addition to introducing perspective and portraiture.
Liuzzo’s Thursday evening two-hour “Figure Drawing for Adults (18+)” provides a timed drawing (instruction-free) practice from a different live model every week, no matter your experience. Students bring their own materials, easels, and drawing boards. Liuzzo draws along with everyone else. She said artists enjoy being in a community with other artists and encourage them to share during the breaks.
Liuzzo studied art education at Appalachian State. She said she had a studio practice in fibers art, her biggest passion, and was constantly using “found materials.” Then people began giving her material scraps once they knew she could use them for her art. She said this freed up her art-making exploration by not having to worry about wasting expensive materials or buying more art supplies that she wasn’t sure she’d ever use again.
Liuzzo said she is strongly committed to environmental sustainability, by extending the “shelf life” of products received in her store, and out of the landfill. She is happy to offer a way to repurpose your glass jars by selling some items in bulk. These presently include Gesso, Mod Podge, school glue and rubber cement, plus she is looking forward to expanding her acrylic bulk offerings. She said she sells a few discontinued items on Etsy, where they have a better chance of being found by people who have been searching all over for them.
Liuzzo said they are accepting supplies for store credit that include paint, ink, drawing supplies paper/pads and more. She said the supplies that they accept as donations only (no store credit given) include fibers, scrapbooking and office/school supplies, and the full lists can be found online. She said that they do not accept items left outside after-hours, items too big/heavy for one person to handle, items that are moldy or dirty, and thrift store items (clothing, housewares).
“What I hear from a lot of people is it’s slightly magical here,” Liuzzo said. “Come in with a goal that you’ll find what you’re looking for, and also be surprised by the many hidden gems. You may find even more.”
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer/editorial/content/copy, creative consultant/branding strategist, communications outreach messenger, poet and emerging singer/songwriter.
March 21- May 30, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., “Draw & Learn” with Nina Green (grades K-5), and 12:30-1:30 p.m., Drawing from Life for Teens with Nina Green (grades 6-9), (no classes held on 4/4, 4/11, and 5/23), Tuesday, 6-6:45 p.m. Adults Tai Chi w/Cheryl Weston, Ongoing Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Figure Drawing for Adults (18+), Fees for students (18+) with valid student ID are $7 per session and adults (non-students) are $12 per session at Shelf Life Art & Supply Company, 2178 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, (980) 320-0614, Hours: Tues.-Fri. (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)Sat. (11 a.m.- 4 p.m.), closed Sun./Mon. www.shelflifeart.com/, www.facebook.com/ShelfLifeArt/, firstname.lastname@example.org