“You can go at your own pace, come in … and not have to filter through a class,” said Janei Folz of her new studio-gallery. “Just bring your work, get the help you want and go merrily on your way.”
Ed and Janei (prounced YAH-nee) Folz opened Janei’s Art Studio and Gallery in January not only to sell her art, but also to create a community studio space for other artists.
As partners in marriage for 43 years, the husband and wife team run the Route 54 gallery with Janei on the creative side and Ed on the management side.
“We want other artists who may be looking for an alternative venue to stimulate their creativity, as opposed to where they have been painting, and an opportunity to work with an accomplished associate —Janei,” said Ed Folz.
Janei Folz paints in the expressionist and colorist styles, drawing much of her inspiration from nature. Her oil and acrylic paintings are displayed in the front gallery, online and in local exhibitions, such as the annual Freeman Stage Art and Jazz Festival.
Janei Folz calls Delmarva an “artist’s paradise” because of the mild weather, four distinct seasons and the light’s reflection in the thick coastal air.
“It’s very conducive to en plein air and colorist painters because it sparkles —everything sparkles here all the time,” Janei Folz said.
Before moving to West Fenwick area five years ago, the Folzes operated a bed and breakfast in Camden for 11 years. Janei Folz is a member of several community groups, such as Selbyville Community Club and multiple local art leagues.
Opening a studio-gallery allowed her extra work and display space, but it also offered a non-intimidating community space that people can use year round.
Thus, serious craftspeople have space to work and get messy. Janei Folz said she has worked in all mediums, so people can work with her, get advice or independently pursue their work.
She said the studio is private, quiet, parking lot-accessible and well lit.
The studio-gallery’s location toward Williamsville allows easy community access, while maintaining a quiet distance from the “boardwalk craziness of summer,” Janei Folz said.
“You can come in, do your thing, talk if you want, don’t talk if you don’t want,” she said. “But it’s not that structured class.”
Janei Folz said that in traditional art programs, a person must register for six or eight classes, but might be unable to attend all of them. So she allows people to sign up for their own convenient times.
Out-of-town artists can also access canvas, paints and easels for an afternoon at the studio, without toting art supplies on vacation.
“I don’t know if anybody’s ever done it that way before,” Janei Folz said. “I’m willing to try it.”
Janei’s Art Studio and Gallery also hosts a monthly Second Saturday event. There is an open studio from 2 to 4 p.m., where people may work for a few hours at no charge. A gallery reception from 5 to 7 p.m. features hors d’oeuvres, music and conversation among the art. The next event will be May 14.
The Folzes have other ideas for the future collaborations. Until then, they are open to any artistic possibilities.
Janei’s Art Studio and Gallery is located in between Fenwick Island and Selbyville, in Williamsville Country Village at 33195 Lighthouse Road.