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Theresa and Chuck Gillespie
We created ArtsyBug Studio in April of 2013. We are Chuck and Theresa Gillespie, artists, teachers, but most importantly best friends and husband and wife. We are often asked by guests where we got the idea for ArtsyBug Studio. Traveling north on Interstate 35 from Fort Worth, Texas back home to the Quad Cities after attending the National Art Education Association Convention, we tossed around the idea of opening an art studio.
The ideas started to flow on what we envisioned our studio to be and started to come together. Our idea wasn’t to do what was tried and tested and proved successful for many national companies and franchises by taking art into local restaurants, bars, and other public eatery venues, hiring artists to conduct nightly multi-location events. We wanted an art studio—stable, constant, fun, inviting—a place to create for ourselves and our guests while having an absolute fantastic time doing so. We thought it would be a great way for the public to learn how to create art, develop their painting skills or establish them for the first time, while saving money by bringing in their own food and non-alcoholic drink and paying the absolute lowest price possible. We knew the key to our success was the friendly, outgoing, fun-loving nature we would share in the studio with our guests.
Chuck mentioned to Theresa that the one obstacle preventing us from seeing our idea come to life was locating a space for our studio. When we arrived home that weekend, we went driving all around the Quad Cities. We were somewhat down as we headed home with nothing—absolutely nothing promising to move into and create ArtsyBug Studio. But on our way home after looking at dozens of blah…we saw the “For Rent” sign. We called up the owner and she showed us the building. Theresa said, “let’s write the deposit check” and without hesitation we committed to a 12 month lease of the building. For us, it was sink or swim. It looks like we learned to swim! We adopted a policy that is compliant with city ordinances and our painting events are now called Paint with Friends @ArtsyBug Studio. Our parties grew from a very comfortable and manageable number of friends each night, to sometimes turning away friends because we had no room in the studio for any more friends painting. This along with the orange cones popping up in adjacent parking areas sent a less than neighborly or welcoming message from neighbors of ArtsyBug Studio to our friends who dropped by to paint for a couple hours any given night. It was time to find a new place to call home. Chuck drove all around the Quad Cities and really didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Then Theresa and Chuck were driving in downtown Moline and eventually found our new home. A big bold "For Lease" sign was up and Chuck didn't hesitate to call to find out the detail of the property. We had a lot--a LOT of work to transform an old abandoned African food market into ArtsyBug Studio...but we did it! We hope to see all our good friends of ArtsyBug in the new studio as well as brand new faces of friends.
We have our wonderful friends who have made us a part of their creative family to thank for where we are today. We have seen thousands of friends and have enjoyed “working” at something we are passionate about! Theresa has 20 plus years experience in art education as K-6 Art Specialist with the Moline/Coal Valley School District. She has a B.A. in Art Education and a M.A. in Education & Technology. Chuck has a B.A. in Secondary Education and has over 5 years experience working with special needs children in Kindergarten through 6th grade and 4 years experience teaching at the high school level. Both Theresa and Chuck have left the classroom teaching to focus on the passion we have for ArtsyBug Studio.
We love seeing new artist friends walk into ArtsyBug Studio for the first time. We know most of them will be returning to have even more fun a second time--then they become regular guests! We thank everyone who has visited us and hope to see you in the studio soon!
We believe in giving our students the knowledge and freedom they need to express themselves creatively in a fun environment
The studio is located at
425 17th Street in Moline, IL.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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