Apex, NC- One of the things I like best about working for CaryCitizen is that I can tell stories about local people you might not otherwise meet.
One such story is that of my Cary artist-neighbor Susan Hecht and her studio partner Janet Harrell who own Studio 123 on Salem Street in downtown Apex. Janet owned one of the first art galleries on Salem Street when she opened in 2001.Susan Hecht with one of her beach scene paintings, a favorite subject.
Doing What They Love, Loving What They Do
Susan found Janet quite by accident one day. While driving around in downtown Apex she saw an “Artist Space Available” sign in the window of a gallery.
Newly unemployed after catering at the Glass Onion had closed, Susan decided to call Janet on a whim. The two have been great friends ever since.
Their studio was originally a much smaller space with the actual address 123 Salem, but one year ago they outgrew that space and moved down the road to 117 Salem with a larger area for their art classes.
Janet, a Wake County art teacher for 30 years, has been teaching art to children all her life.
A native of the area, she attended Meredith College and holds an art degree. She started teaching in the studio a few years back and currently holds 5 afternoon classes a week.
Her medium is acrylics and she primarily paints landscapes. She also is offering a new series featuring vintage photos that she transforms into colorful impressionistic dream-like versions of the past.
Happily, the studio keeps getting stronger and enabled her to retire from public school teaching to create art full time this past December.
Susan began her career as a graphic designer, and has always been drawn to creative fields including stints as a caterer. When she took a furniture painting class years ago, she got hooked on painting and hasn’t stopped since.
She continues to take artist workshops and states that she “has gotten to be a better painter by teaching”. Her students are adults whom she primarily teaches during the mornings freeing her up to paint during the afternoons.
Currently she has paintings at several galleries in Charleston, Greensboro, Bald Head Island and Atlantic Beach. From her art, I could see her love of the beach as a subject – making it a natural fit for these galleries.
Visit Studio 123
It’s great fun to stop by the studio and feel the creative vibe. After all, that’s part of the charm of supporting local artists.
117 Salem St.