Laura Boardman will open “Rabbit Studio” in Teasdale in 2018, after purchasing the 80-year-old Main Street grocery store in July of 2015 and spending years on the remodel — despite advice from many general contractors to just tear it down. “The Rabbit now has a 1,500-square-foot studio for workshops, a place for me to paint when staying in our home in Torrey, living quarters with bedroom, kitchen, running water and a bathroom,” says the artist whose home and studio in Salt Lake City is on the National Historic Register.
In her “prior life,” before going back to school at age 50 to study painting and drawing, Boardman owned a full-service interior design firm specializing in historic buildings and healthcare and couldn’t resist saving the only commercial building on Teasdale’s Main Street. Artists Paul and Silvia Davis are right next door, “so the four of us [with Boardman’s husband, Cal] see a lot of each other, enjoying talking art and sharing families’ and friends’ gatherings.”
While her original intent was to use the space just for her studio and as spare lodging for houseguests, Boardman says the Torrey area has been both a refuge and inspiration to her for 22 years, and wants the old building to mean more to the arts community and the general area as well. “Wayne County youth have a high interest in the arts, winning many national awards . . . [and] I do have some immediate plans to host visual arts, dance, music, and writing for youth,” she says, as well as quilt shows and work with the Entrada Institute.
At some point she will market the building to teachers for workshops to teach 10 or 12 students and to plein air artists to work and retreat on a weekly basis.
And while Wayne County, the Great Salt Lake, and Skull Valley “have been my muse for many years, and will not likely change,” Boardman has experienced “a sudden interest in dark skies, the moon, and night light, that I have been working on. The art-making part of my life keeps me close to nature and our ever-changing environmental future.”
To see more of the artist’s work, visit lauraboardmanart.com.