“A sanctuary for art and meditation,” reads the welcoming sign at Studio Rubedo, downtown’s newest art gallery located at 213 W. Chisholm St.
Studio Rubedo opened in July 2018 as an independent, artist-run space by multi-disciplinary artist Brian Schorn and moved to its current location in summer 2019. Located in a building that was previously a historic home downtown, each room– decorated intentionally and in the studio’s inspired red, yellow, black, and white color palate– is dedicated to a different use or gallery display. On a cold January day, I received a tour of the space with owner and creator Brian Schorn, who shared with me his vision for the studio.
We enter in the Moon Gallery, the home’s enclosed front porch, and then move to the Sun Gallery, both of which are used for solo exhibitions of local, regional, and national artists. Currently Schorn is displaying his own work in the galleries, but the schedule for upcoming months is filling with artists from New York City, Washington DC, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.
In addition to gallery space, one of the studio’s newer additions is The Sanctuary, which is used for “meditation practice, personal development, and general well-being programs.” Schorn recently became a certified meditation instructor and teaches calm-abiding meditation practices as passed on through the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He leads weekly meditation sessions in the Sanctuary, each Saturday from 11 am to noon (suggested donation $10). Since launching the meditation sessions, Schorn says attendees have a “wide range range of varying interests, belief systems, and ages.” Anyone is invited to attend, and the meditation is not about preaching a certain dogma but rather promoting “working with your mind and understanding who you really are by sitting with yourself.”
The Sanctuary also hosts a small library where the public is invited to grab a book, have a coffee, and hang out in a “different kind of environment that is small and personable.” Schorn is working on an exclusive Studio Rubedo coffee to serve on site and sell in the small retail space in the studio. The retail space also sells high-quality incense from all over the world, coffee mugs with the studio’s logo, Schorn’s poetry and calligraphy, and other items inspired by the studio’s design and art.
It is Schorn’s ultimate goal to spend all of his time to develop the studio as a space for his meditation services, art practices, retail space, and rotating artwork displays. In addition to operating the studio, Schorn is currently an adjunct professor in the fine arts department at Alpena Community College.
“I’m doing exactly what I love, this is what I always wanted to do,” Schorn says. “I’m just following my heart… doing whatever seems important to me and necessary to help others. If it’s an art and meditation place, I guess that’s what it is. I’m just letting it be whatever it it turns out to be.”
Schorn’s extensive and multi-disciplinary educational background and over fifteen-years of teaching experience– Brown University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Interlochen Arts Academy, to name a few– infuses all he does at the studio and inspires him to “bring his areas of expertise to the community and open people’s eyes to other forms of artwork and thinking.”
Schorn plans on expanding programming at the studio to include film nights and discussions, contemporary art classes, and additional programs for art, writing, and youth. Some of his recent additions include a Whole-Hearted Living Workshop with Paige Allia and the Death Cafe, an international program that allows individuals to talk about death in an open, non-judgmental way.
“Once people come here, they feel the connection, they feel the authenticity, they feel the seriousness, and it’s genuine– and people connect with that, and they want to come back,” Schorn says. “It’s great to be who you really are, and that’s what I’ve been able to do through this… to offer something to the world that’s meaningful. Even if it’s just the tiny town of Alpena, it’s significant.”
Studio Rubedo is located at 213 W. Chisholm St., “a sanctuary for art and its practice, transmuting matter and mind for the benefit of all.” Learn more about Studio Rubedo by visiting its website here. Interested in displaying your artwork at the studio? Learn more here.
This blog was written by Anne Gentry, Executive Director of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority. Make sure to give the blog a a like on Facebook and share with a family or friend.