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Blue Ridge Studio of Fine Arts welcomes visitors to newer, larger Orange space

Sunday’s open house at Blue Ridge Studio of Fine Arts will give visitors a chance to glimpse the possibilities of a new space.

The new studio at 131 E. Main St. in Orange will offer room for sculpture classes and larger-scale canvases, in addition to the drawing and painting classes Lena and John Murray lead for children, teens and adults, Lena Murray told The Daily Progress. The family-friendly open house is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and Murray said there will be a table set up for children who’d like to paint and draw.

“When they come to our space, they see our paintings, and they want to do it, too,” she said. “We invite everybody. It’s a kid-friendly event.”

The larger space also will allow the Murrays room for some completely new offerings, including carpentry, mosaic and leather crafting, that wouldn’t work in the studio’s previous space in the Silk Mill.

Although Murray said she’ll miss the Silk Mill’s hardwood floors, “we didn’t have any space for sculpture there,” Murray said. “It’s at least two times bigger than what we had before at the Silk Mill. We were very cramped. The classes were limited to about eight.” If students showed up to make up missed classes, “people almost were sitting in the bathroom,” she said.

“The ceiling is very high, which is great,” she said. “We also installed tons of new lights.”

Classes for teens and adults are offered on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and classes for ages 8 to 12 take place on Saturdays. The studio welcomed about 60 students last year, with 25 attending the final series of classes in the former space.

The new location gets more foot traffic, and Murray said she hopes the open house will tempt people to drop in and see what the new studio has in store.

Admission is free. For details, visit


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