Opinion: Studio 425 has more than just art

Melissa Schwachenwald

Melissa Schwachenwald

Melissa Schwachenwald is a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Located in Kent on the corner of Gougler Avenue by the Crain Bridge is Studio 425. 

Artists of any genre can sign up to display their work, rent a studio space upon availability and skate the bowl ramp.  An energetic, creative and productive atmosphere resonates throughout the place and new forms of art are displayed continuously.

Joshua Weiss, a musician and skateboarder from Kent, frequently uses 425 to practice and enjoy his interests. 

On Jan. 13, an art show at the studio featured painting, photography and sculpture along with the band Stems. 

The project focused on The Turbo-Dang! artist collective and received a huge outcome. 

Several artists from Kent, Akron, Youngstown and Lakewood exhibited their work: Seth Robinson painted colorful and detailed creatures; E.J. Vasko captured personalities through photography; and Dale Busta constructed intricate sculptures of bees and their habitat. 

Band members of Stems include Joshua Weiss on drums, Charlie Collins on guitar, Mike Voris on bass and Justin Seeker as vocals and guitar.  Together they create Rock and Roll with a surf-pop sensibility.

Recently, it has been a struggle to continue practicing music or skateboarding because of two noise violations and a neighborhood that doesn’t fully approve of 425. 

In a college town where loud noise and large crowds are common, the police aren’t the ones to blame in this situation. It is difficult to hear the band or skaters from across the street, and the property around 425 is open enough where a disturbance isn’t obnoxious; however, the residents continue to complain.

That won’t stop the determination of Turbo-Dang! and its ultimate goal of creating, engaging and expanding their artistic mediums. 

Weiss explained, “The artist collective hopes to play shows throughout Kent, Akron and Cleveland, maybe Palm Beach one day.” 

The main focus of Turbo-Dang! is to book shows at venues and incorporate all aspects of its art. 

“The first show on Jan. 13 was a success; each artist sold a couple of pieces and the crowd’s reaction to Stems was invigorating,” Weiss stated.  Future profits will hopefully be provided by donations, but the main focus is the talent. 

The next performance for Stems will be on Feb. 2 at Musica in Akron after a skateboard movie premiere by Don Hammersly. 

The doors open at 8 p.m. and the event is free to the public.

Stay tuned for the up-and-coming Turbo-Dang! art collective based in Kent, and look forward to next week’s spotlight on Last Place, a driven group of Cleveland artists.