It was during the peak of COVID when schoolteachers, Judy “Juju” and Jim “Jimmy” Jozwiak made the move from hosting an art studio in their home – previously known as Art and Soul – to the studio that is now known as The Painted Apple Creative Studio in Portage, Indiana.
“We had a little studio in a rec room in our home, so we've been doing it for quite a while, about four or five years now, and then COVID hit and we couldn't have people in the studio and we couldn't go to them. So, we figured that when the restrictions lighten a bit, we are going to get an actual studio – and we are going to change the name because ‘Art and Soul’ is hard to look up. Since we are both former schoolteachers, we thought, 'Well, let's have it apple-related.' That’s when we came up with a 'Painted' Apple because we also both like to paint,” said Juju Jozwiak.
The studio brought on a unique way for a person in the Portage and surrounding areas to spend their time either on their own or with loved ones.
“When we first started, we had one lady, in particular, say how there was an art scene in Valparaiso, but here in Portage we had nothing. She said that it was so refreshing, and that has stuck with me. That appreciation from a customer has really vibrated and motivated us to continue,” said Juju Jozwiak.
“The events that we offer are stress relief. It's an alternative to the bars, and there's nothing wrong with the bars but if for some reason that is not your scene and you want a night out, you can come to spend it with us. We do a lot of laughing in here, so it's a no-judgment zone,” said Juju Jozwiak.
Juju went on to elaborate on the sort of art she and her husband partake in when they're not hosting events for others at the studio.
“My husband loves pointillism. He used to do a lot of ink compositions and I was more into acrylic paints. Just because the paint is so forgiving, the pointillism is so precise. So, I'm more of an impressionistic kind of person. Spontaneous, you know, so we just blended both of the worlds in it,” said Juju Jozwiak.
If people interested in attending the events held at the Jozwiaks' studio have little to no experience in art, they need not fear because The Painted Apple accommodates individuals of all skill levels.
“We tell everyone this is not ‘fine’ art, it's fun art, so there's no stress when you walk in. The canvases are all pre-sketched. We certainly have blank canvases, if that's where you want to begin, but 99.9% of people just like that little bit of stress is removed. We have a lot of people saying, 'I can't draw a stick figure.' Okay! Well then let us help you draw a stick figure. Whatever you want to do,” said Juju Jozwiak
The types of events held at The Painted Apple by the couple vary just as much as the skill levels offered.
“There's a lot to choose from – people who want to book their private party, or we do public events where everyone is welcome. On Friday nights, we have a BYOB and that's up to the painter if they want to bring a bottle of wine to split with someone. Saturday mornings are classes for the kids. Wednesday is our family night so there's no drinking allowed. If you book your private party and everyone is 21 or over, you can bring adult beverages if you want. There are corporate events and team-building birthday parties for kids, and everyone adores it," said Juju Jozwiak. "Of course, we simplify the design for the kids and they use the studio for two hours so they use the first hour for the painting and then the second hour is for the birthday cake or cupcakes and the festivities. So it's just a lot of fun."
To temporarily escape the stresses of daily living – or even just to develop your art skills – consider hanging out with Juju and Jimmy Jozwiak at The Painted Apple Creative Studio located at 2536 Portage Mall Portage, Indiana, 46368.
To see information ahead of time on what events they offer, please visit the studio's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PaintedApple219.