Established in 2017 by Marie Leone, MLPM Studio Gallery brings the academy to Pittsburgh. Their next event is “Women Look at Men” on Saturday, August 26th from 7-10pm. They will also be teaching artistic anatomy workshops here in the Fall, where artists will learn the muscles as they sculpt or draw their figures. Finally, starting this Black Friday and through the month of December, MLPM Studios will have workshops on jewelry making, mosaics, and soap making. Marie invites you in behind the veil to become part of the world of art. 

Why did you decide to start-up an art gallery in Ambridge?

The biggest draw was this space. I knew that the Thornton’s owned a number of properties here and they just happened to walk me by this building on accident. It was a disaster on the inside with holes in the floor and wires hanging from the ceiling, but I loved it. As they renovated the property I lived in a camper while I worked on a mural with CCBC and then moved into their Bed & Breakfast, Old Economy Inn, for a few months. The total process was about eight months and I moved in January of this year.

What was your experience like in obtaining financing?

This has all been privately financed. We hold quarterly art shows which tend to get a great turnout and we have also had a glass mosaic workshop in the past, models come here at least once a month for an open drawing session (we hope to add sculpting to that session as well) and when an artist shows their work here, they also teach a class with an after party to follow for time to just hang out and talk with the artist over a beer or coffee.

What advice would you have for a beginning artist and/or business owner?

To beginning artists, keep your costs low. Less overhead means more time for your art. The same principle can apply to beginning business owners as well.

What was the biggest surprise in starting your gallery?

The biggest surprise was how much people cared. There are so many people who want to help and participate and make this place a success. I did not expect that kind of a response at all. I would love to see more local residents coming out to the gallery though because most of our traffic comes from the surrounding areas and Pittsburgh.

How have you been impacted by the community of Ambridge after opening this business?

This town has impacted me greatly. I definitely feel welcomed into the community and feel a need to give back and provide community outreach to the children and elderly in this area to connect them with the arts. I want the entire community to have the chance to be involved in this rebirth of Ambridge.


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