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Art Foundry celebrates its first year

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad’s Village was buzzing with activity as the community celebrated art in its various forms at the Art Foundry’s one-year anniversary event on July 29.
Since opening its doors a year ago, The New Village Arts Theater’s Art Foundry, 2787 State Street, has become a landmark in the Village. An evening reception and special art exhibit marked not only how far the space has come, but also how far it will go.
“The phenomenal growth of the Art Foundry over the past year really proves that it’s needed and wanted in the Village,” said Laura Kurner, who manages the space.
People and artists packed the Foundry as they joined in celebrating the art facility’s success. Studio artists were creating a variety of pieces during the reception, while singer Susanna Kurner — Laura’s daughter — performed classic jazz pieces.
For an even bigger celebration, the anniversary event was coupled with
the Carlsbad Village Association’s monthly art walk Thursdays on the Coast, and opening night of the New Village Arts Theater’s newest show, “Seven Year Itch.”
“The name New Village Arts is plural — when we first sat down 10 years ago, we envisioned this as an umbrella for all the arts,” Kurner said.
The Foundry is a unique facility that offers a number of artists’ studios that are also open to the public. It has doubled in size since first opening and now features 12 studios with 14 different artists, some of whom have been there from the start. People are invited to walk around the space and watch the artistic process or view pieces for sale.
“There’s a synergy here among the artists,” Kurner said. “This is a cooperative in every sense of the word; it’s a really special place.”
Artist Phyllis Swanson usually paints at her in-home studio but secured a spot on the Foundry when it first opened.
She enjoys painting in vibrant downtown Carlsbad and being a part of the growing arts community in the Village.
“It’s also just really nice having other artists around,” Swanson said. “You really get inspired by what you see other artists creating.”
Although the Foundry is attracting the attention of more artists and quickly outgrowing its space at the New Village Arts Theater, there are no current plans to branch out to other facilities. For now, one location will allow the Kurners to keep fostering such a unique space for artists in the community.
“We’re concentrating it here, this is definitely our focus right now,” Kurner said. “It’s just amazing — we’ve had a great time with this.”
For more information about the New Village Arts Theater’s Art Foundry, visit