New Studio, Full Circle

In 2001 I setup my first real art studio in downtown Humboldt, TN. It was on S. 13th Ave besides a local bar that inadvertently provided me with some classic rock studio tunes to work to. I would work late into the night on welded steel sculptures and pottery and be frequently visited by the patrons of my neighbors clientele, which provided for some interesting critiques and conversations on life, art, and both their potential meanings. I kept this studio running until I graduated college in 2005 from Union University and went off to grad school to Bowling Green State Univeristy in Bowling Green, Ohio to study with some prolific artists in my areas of interests, Shawn Morin and John Balistreri.

After graduating grad school, I held a professorship a few years and moved back to Humboldt along with my newly wed wife, Emily, and we had begun an international pursuit that was still being developed, but I new it would entail the arts. While a young college student, I had begun to develop a career vision that looked something like a community art center/studio. And in 2010, we started this process with renovating a building on Main St. Part of this overall concept entailed a restaurant within its walls. Think restaurant and gift shop in the front of the space, and art studios and classrooms in the back of the space.

After about a year and a half, we balanced the books and saw the immense tax exposure restaurants have. And compared to some of our other investments, we couldn’t justify keeping a restaurant going when we could invest our resources in other investment vehicles and not be heavily double taxed by local, state and federal governments. So we closed it down, but kept the art center concept alive and decided to pursue a different approach to the overall development.

And in 2014, my family and I left the country to live in Northeast Asia for a couple of years to develop a what had become more defined as a cultural art exchange endeavor and returned to the U.S. at the end of 2015/beginning 2016 to raise and save money to continue the development.

Before returning to Asia, my hope is to get a self-sustainable studio operating that we can utilize while back in Asia as a bridge-building platform to Asian and even Russian artists and artisans.

The timing seems right for this here in the U.S. because the economy is the best it’s been since my childhood memories of a vibrant downtown. My family has had businesses in the downtown area since the 70’s and I essentially grew up in a two block area after school in downtown Humboldt.

Our little town of about 8500 people is experiencing an economic stimulus it hasn’t tasted for about 25 years, the pre-Walmart era as I think of it.

I am now renovating the same building my grandparents bought when they moved here from Memphis to run an appliance store called Western Auto into this art studio I’m hoping will be the U.S. headquarters for our international art exchange, or at least in the downtown area.

This will be the 4th building my family and I have renovated in the downtown area in the past 10 years, but this time a handful of others have already completed their renovations or are also in the process. The downtown area has several restaurants, shopping boutiques, the regional art museum and gallery, and an amazing movie theater.

So if you want to avoid the hectic traffic and chain restaurants of Jackson, TN, just drive 10-15 minutes North on the 45 Bypass to Humboldt.

Being back in downtown Humboldt, Tennessee is definitely like coming full circle, again of which I’m truly excited and thankful about.

It’s a great time to be in Humboldt, TN! Come visit the downtown area and enjoy a stroll around!

For more information about Pottery Classes, click HERE.

Proceeds from tuition goes towards cultural exchange efforts in Northeast Asia.

The Fall Season = Craft Sales

It’s that time of year where inventory is being made for the fast coming Fall & Christmas craft sales.

The potters wheel is going full speed, pots are in all stages from drying to being glazed and fired in kilns.

It’s GO time!

Audrey Hepburn Has Entered The Building!

Are you a fan of great, timeless artwork that is also modern? How about of Audrey Hepburn? If so, be ready to be breath-taken because we have a one-of-a-kind mixed media painting! This work is nothing short of astounding. Nearly 6 square feet and beautifully crafted with gold leaf, you can rest assure this painting will most certainly accent any space.

Good news is, it has just been listed on our online shop so it’s still available for you to view!

makers art project 1.JPG

“Audrey Hepburn” by Jessica Alsobrook

Online Store

Support the Effort

As we get our studio here in the U.S. established, we also are looking at establishing a partnering studio in Yanji, China where we also live. Where in the world is this? It is where China, Russia, and the DPR of Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) come together in Northeast Asia. The city of Yanji is known as a Korean autonomous prefecture and is one of the more multi-ethnic regions of China. Over the past 10-15 years a unique blend of Chinese, North Korean, Russian, and yes, American cultures has become very evident. This juxtaposition of cultures is fodder for the visual artist.

While one would say there might not be any cultures further from one another, we have seen something different. We see the universal language of art and beauty exists despite cultural differences. Art, it may be argued, is one of the most effective cross cultural exchange methods between people groups. Despite where one goes in the world, geographical or historically, art can be found. This is our common thread from which we aim to build our bridges.

If you can get behind this endeavor, check out our online shop! All proceeds go towards the development of a cultural arts exchange studio in Yanji, China.

And thank you!


Breaking Ground in the U.S.!

AlsobrookArtSupply started in 2005 as an idea involving the collaboration and work exchange of artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world who would work in studios located in different places around the globe.

From 2014-2016 my family and I were able to explore the opportunities of how art might be utilized as a bridge to cultures in Asia, specifically in China, North & South Korea, and East Russia. After building a coal kiln and teaching art courses in Korea and China, my family and I returned to the U.S. to begin building this side of the bridge that will unite these cultures.

So if you like art, and you like the possibilities art can provide regarding bridging cultures, stick around and check-in often!