Joyanna Rose Gittings made her studio home in Downtown Longmont (Old Town Marketplace) in 2018. She also established Obra Arts Studio and Salón, with the mission of promoting visual arts and fostering their power as a vehicle for cross-cultural connection in her community. Her work flows by one central theme: tenderness. She works to bring tenderness to everyday life with her paintings, to make it tangible and brilliant and so fiercely evident it physically warms the viewer.
Click Joyanna's video above to learn about three important announcements that she shares in English and Spanish. The announcement includes something Grand, something New, and something Free!
Q: Why did you decide to open Obra Arts in Downtown Longmont?
A: I had been working in Longmont for several years, and when I decided to open a studio of my own I knew there was nowhere else I’d rather be. I love the Creative District; the indomitable originality of the businesses, the mix of languages and culture, and the way it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Being a bilingual business I was lucky to find a bilingual building. I have Tomas Perez, Manager at Old Town Marketplace, to thank for being such an advocate for the Arts and welcoming artists to his space. I want this new creative place to be welcoming to all, and Downtown Longmont exemplifies that.
Q: How can your customers make Obra Arts their own favorite place, and how can they take ownership of supporting you during this time?
A: Likes, Comments, Shares, and Follows on Social Media!! Obra Arts has a primary mission of being a place for people to physically gather and be inspired, and obviously that isn’t happening right now, so a virtual follow on Facebook and Instagram is the best way to be involved. On my Instagram @joyannarose I’m sharing a new piece of an original illustrated Legend story every day; hopefully, it’s a bit of an escape from real life. This summer I’ll be announcing FREE watercolor classes to help get us back together without worry about cost. There will also be a Grand Opening event that had to be postponed, so follow Joyanna Rose or Obra Arts on Facebook to stay informed of upcoming art events.
Q: Why and how did you get into your line of business?
A: Well, it all started at age 4 with a set of Prang watercolors, and went downhill from there. I studied set and costume design which taught me to work in all kinds of media, from murals to millinery to welding. I studied Spanish in Spain, ran a daycare for a decade while my kids were little, taught and interpreted at Estes Park elementary school, and helped my husband start a fundraising business. Starting a business that combines art and language and teaching brings it all together.
Q: What do you enjoy most about doing business?
A: The best thing about practicing art, which is traditionally done very privately, in a space that is open to the public is seeing people connect with what is happening in real time, not months later after it’s been mounted behind glass. I love that people open up to me when they see that I am open, and that becomes a sort of collaboration. The observers become part of the work. There are mentor ships available at the studio for those who wish to delve deeper into their craft but aren’t sure quite how.
Q: What differentiates you from other businesses?
A: Obra Arts is hard to categorize. John Lennon once said, “I’m an artist, and if you give me a tuba, I’ll bring you something out of it.” I feel that way about Visual Art. If you have a need for art, we can help fill it. It is an Art Place, for creating, showing, educating, socializing, advocating, collaborating, mentoring, and beautifying. It is a place for me to paint and a place for students to practice their conversational English or Spanish. Art may seem like a frivolity when jobs and homes are uncertain, but it can provide much needed relief precisely at the most difficult times. I hope to serve the community with a place that nurtures the soul.
During the Stay at Home order, we'll be featuring a different Downtown Longmont business each day. These small businesses are the heartbeat of our community and are a big reason why this is such a great place to live, work, and play. This is a difficult time for everyone, and small businesses and their owners and employees are no exception.
There are many ways you can support them during this time, from liking, following, and sharing their content on social media, to making online or over-the-phone purchases of products or gift cards. We've created a LOCAL Incentive Program that rewards customers with Downtown Longmont Gift Cards for supporting small businesses directly