Friday, June 14

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Spotlight on Business: Fox Den Studio: Where art comes alive and community thrives

By: Amber Travis-Ballinas & Jennifer Eytcheson

A hidden gem of creativity and craftsmanship has emerged in our little town. Fox Den Studio, led by Kathryn “Dewey” Spence, is a haven for artists and art enthusiasts alike. With a focus on custom hats, unique art, clothing, and a vibrant community space, Fox Den Studio is redefining the traditional art gallery experience.

Dewey Spence, a Professional Certified Tailor and Milliner, brings her expertise and passion to Fox Den Studio. With over twelve years of experience in designing and producing wearable art, she is a master of her craft. From custom-made clothing and historical costumes to exquisite wedding dresses and meticulously crafted felt hats, Dewey’s creations are wearable masterpieces that blend art and fashion seamlessly.

Reflecting on her journey, Dewey shared, “I studied ‘Design and Production’ at Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver, CO, and it was there that my love for hats and historical costumes blossomed. I find joy in creating unique, fun, wearable artwork that completes an outfit and brings excitement to the wearer.”

Fox Den Studio is not just a place to showcase art; it is a collaborative art space that fosters community engagement. The studio features a blend of workshop and gallery spaces, providing artists with an environment to create while inviting community members to immerse themselves in the creative process. Local in-house artists employ old-world methods, giving visitors the opportunity to witness art being produced and to support the arts directly.

What really makes Fox Den Studio special is its commitment to supporting local artists. Dewey proudly offers a low commission split with featured artists, ensuring they receive the recognition and compensation they deserve. In a remarkable gesture, every First Friday of the month, 100% of the proceeds from all sales go directly to the featured artists — a testament to Dewey’s dedication to nurturing the local arts community.

The journey of establishing Fox Den Studio in Crestone has been one of resilience and determination. In 2019, Dewey relocated to Crestone and survived the challenges of the pandemic. In 2021, she was presented with an opportunity to open a shop in the area and collaborate with fellow local artists to create an art gallery and hat shop. Despite the initial success, a lease expiration in 2022 forced her to find a new home for the studio. Fortunately, she secured an empty unit in the Town Hall building, a stroke of luck that propelled Fox Den Studio forward.

Looking ahead, Dewey envisions Fox Den Studio as a space that fosters creativity, community, and celebration of the arts. In the short term, she aims to create an open environment where artists can produce and display their work while allowing the public to witness the art-making process.

Crestone First Fridays, a recurring event from 2-7 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, will feature in-house artists, offer healthy refreshments, games, and opportunities for camaraderie among residents, visitors, and guests. It’s a chance for the community to connect with local artists and contribute directly to their success.

To aspiring artists, Dewey’s advice is unwavering: “Never let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Embrace criticism, let it fuel your creativity, and persistently practice your craft to continuously improve.”

While operating a business in Crestone does present challenges, such as the overwhelming cost of living and the scarcity of affordable housing and creative spaces, Dewey remains grateful for the warm welcome and support she has received from the management of the Town Hall building.

Dewey and Fox Den Studio invite the community to experience the magic firsthand. The studio is open to walk-in guests from Thursday to Saturday, noon-6 p.m., with Sunday available by appointment.

For inquiries, visitors can reach out via phone at 303-437-1133 or email at crestoneatelier@gmail.com. They can also explore the studio’s Instagram page, ATELIERDEDECI@IG, to discover product photos and prices.

Fox Den Studio stands as a testament to the power of creativity, community, and the pursuit of artistic dreams. In a town known for its artistic expression, this haven for wearable art and collaborative spirit encapsulates the essence of Crestone’s new thriving arts scene.

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