About The Making Space

About us

The Making Space is a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 with the goal of providing greater access to art-making in the community of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We value creativity, connection, and learning, and we deeply believe that everyone is an artist. Each month we host free Open Studio events with the intent of connecting people to art and the community around them. 

What is an Open Studio?

Imagine an artist opens up their studio to you to explore, experiment, create, and play with all of their supplies. That’s basically what our Open Studio events are like. We provide the materials and a judgment-free space, so that you can feel safe exploring your creative side. This is not a competition or a class; we simply want to offer you the space to create.

Oftentimes, we partner with a local artist, who shares a technique or process that they love. We always have drawing, painting, and collage supplies available. We encourage you to bring something you’re already working on, or start something new!

Our Open Studio events are always free! They are geared towards adults, who have much fewer opportunities to create art, although children are welcome with an adult to accompany them.

Our History

The Making Space was formed as a collaboration of four people’s dreams to have a community art studio where people could come and make art without needing expensive materials or experience. Our mission is to create a space where you do not need to have the money, talent, experience, or tools to make art. We provide the space, materials, and guidance. You bring the willingness to learn, create, and share.

The Making Space was featured in The Daily News Record in January 2020.

The Making Space Board of Directors
Maria Paz Esguerra, President

Maria Paz learned about The Making Space (TMS) by complete accident, and now cannot imagine life in Harrisonburg without it. Her favorite things about TMS is making and creating alongside others as well as the people she gets to meet at every community event. Maria Paz enjoys working with paper and photographs, but also has a love for acrylic painting and art journals. In addition to working with the Making Space, Maria Paz teaches college history and serves as Co-Principal of the Kensington Strickland Group, LLC.

Malea Gascho, Vice President

Malea has been a part of The Making Space since it was a dream crafted with friends in a backyard. She has loved being a part of the amazing community of makers it has become! One of her favorite things about The Making Space is when people make connections with each other through the art they are creating. Malea enjoys the process of learning new art mediums. This gets fully expressed through TMS and her job as an art educator. When she isn’t trying out something new, she loves to use graphite, watercolor, and ceramics to create art.

Erin Conway, Event Coordinator

Erin first got involved with The Making Space as a participant and then volunteer, to support her friends and engage in regular artmaking activities. As an art educator, it is her joy to share in the creative process with others, and The Making Space is a unique opportunity for that to happen in authentic and meaningful ways. She does a lot of visual journaling, which suits this space perfectly, with its wide variety of materials, ideas, and inspiration. Erin is honored and excited to formally be a part of this organization, which emulates many of her personal values and aspirations.

Marcia Weaver, Treasurer

Marcia has been the treasurer since June 2019. She loves fabric arts and enjoys quilting and making banners for the worship arts at her church. She is seeking ways to create openings for more creativity and fun and The Making Space is just the place to find those opportunities.

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