Lee Street Studios: Breathing New Life Into a Beloved Building

  • November 22, 2017
  • Grist Real Estate
  • 1 Comment

 

The building that is now 232 North Lee Street in Lewisburg has a rich history of education that has filled its halls since its inception.  Initially built as Lewisburg High School, the structure went on to house Lewisburg Junior High, Lewisburg Elementary, a New River Community College extension, and currently is the headquarters for Lee Street Studios.

Lee Street Studios (LSS) is a “multi-purpose space encourages regional artists of different mediums to develop their careers.”(leestreetstudioswv.com) Business investors and artists with local ties have revitalized the building into a haven where local artists can work, grow, and showcase their crafts in a community setting.  Connecting with other artists and the community is one of the main goals of LSS.  Guests of the studios can purchase artists’ works, take a class, or simply enjoy the beautiful work lining the hallways and classrooms or soak in the sounds emanating from the various music studios.  Currently, LSS has 20 artist residents occupying rooms with spaces still available for rent.

                

               *Pastels by Barbara Miller

                                

                               *Painting by Romney Collins

                                     

                                    *Work by Michael Christie

One of the inhabitants of the studios on the lower level is accomplished violinist, Adam DeGraff.  When Adam isn’t working on his farm birthing cattle, creating tasty charcuterie morsels, or any of the other myriad of chores that fills his days, he can be found teaching violin lessons or playing at his Lee Street Listening Room.  Having played the violin since age 3,  Adam taught himself musical skills when he wasn’t able to find anyone to teach him what he wanted to learn – how to “rock out” on a violin.  Since then, Adam has been experimenting with rock violin, song writing, alternative music education, and traditional organic farming practices (https://adamviolin.com/bio).  Always forging his own path, he has created his own amplified violin sound which helps him stand out from other artists in his field.  Below is a Adam playing Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”:

As a former student, I can attest to Adam’s teaching skills and depth of knowledge. Not having played since I was a child, he helped me conquer basic skills and build a solid foundation from where I envisioned myself playing for crowds (maybe a small crowd, but in front of others, nonetheless.)  He loves what he does and it shines through in his instruction and performances.

                                                     

                                                    *Me, working the strings

Since opening his Listening Room, Adam has hosted private shows for friends, local organizations, and community events.  Below, Adam is pictured with one of his collaborators, Morgan Weidinger and performing for Mom’s Cafe.  Morgan will be performing at Adam’s studio on Friday, November 24 at 7:30.

                                              

                                           

LSS has rooms available to rent for parties and gatherings, including a full gym.  To schedule a performance or event at the studios, contact Lee Street Studios.  There will also be various performances throughout the year. The center will be hosting an Art Sale on Saturday, November 25 from 10-4.  Enjoy refreshments and find your perfect holiday gift or just something for yourself.

The local community is fortunate to have such forward-thinkers and artists in our area.  For those of us who grew up in the Greenbrier Valley, the big brick building on Lee Street holds countless memories.  Even walking the halls, recently, it still smelled and felt familiar from when I attended school there years ago.  To be able to see now, such vibrant life and energy between those beloved walls is inspiring and remarkable.  Take a moment and explore for yourself so you can create your own memories in a place that has been so special for many.

One thought on “Lee Street Studios: Breathing New Life Into a Beloved Building”

  1. When I think about mixing the hopes, dreams and insecurities of years spent in those hall with the creativity of what is going on now…it feels like sweet,satisfying poetry.

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