I made pieces based on an artist, musician or arts advocate in town. I had them tell me what their favorite color was, what is their eye color, what is their shirt color, and what is their home color
On St. Andrews street on the Northside of La Crosse stands the iconic La Crosse Footwear building, also known as the old Rubber Mills. For decades La Crosse residents were employed in the making of rubber boots in those sprawling connected buildings. Now the building is home to a motley group of businesses; Pearl Street Brewery, Carbon Cannabis, La Crosse Mail and Print, Boot Hill Pub, and many more. There are even luxury apartments in the building. It is also home to A.E.H. Studio Gallery, owned and operated by artist Ashton Hall.
Ashton is a La Crosse area local, whose oil pastel art you may have seen in the La Crosse County building, or hanging at the Heider Center, or you might have taken a stroll down the Alley of Murals downtown and spied one of her creations. She has played an active role in the local art community and decided to take it one step further, opening her private studio into a public art gallery. Ashton stated, “The minute I saw this space, I thought this is a gallery, this is not just a studio…I thought it was really crucial to bring the public in this space and have open hours, because why not invite them in to see what you’re creating, what you’re doing.”
A.E.H. Studio Gallery is a place for Ashton to display her own work, and the work of other artists. Visitors to the space can expect to find not only oil pastels, but art work in multiple mediums, from several artists. “So many artists asked to be part of the last exhibit, called the Five Love Languages… I wanted to invite the (art) community in and give them a chance to sell their work, and just have it be seen and interact with people. It’s big for an artist’s confidence, an artist can gain a lot of confidence talking to people about their art,” said Ashton.
“I really like making different works in series. So I always try to challenge myself by making themed exhibits and most of the Gallery is themed exhibits,” said Hall. One of her current themes displayed in the Gallery is called Colors that Define Us. “I made pieces based on an artist, musician or arts advocate in town. I had them tell me what their favorite color was, what is their eye color, what is their shirt color, and what is their home color,” Ashton stated. “Then I was forced to create an abstract piece based on their answers,” she said.
As the gallery is her studio, it gives a visit to the space the feeling of an art crawl, “Walking through an artists space during open hours is so much fun, because you can see what they’re working on”, said Ashton. You’re not only going to see works in progress, but it’s likely you will catch her brush in hand.
Follow the Gallery’s website for open hours and events at ashtonhallartist.com.
Featured Image by © Dylan Overhouse Productions