Orange Poppy Art Studio celebrates 2 years of art creation

Members of the Big Island Chamber of Commerce, New York MP Angelo Morinello, city officials (including Supervisor John Whitney, Highway Manager Richard Crawford, Councilor Pete Marston and Employee Patty Frenzel) and friends at Orange Poppy Art Studio celebrate the ribbon. Crystal Style and Bonnie Nevans.

Saturday, June 18, 2022, 7:00 p.m.

History and photos by Alice Gerard

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020, Bonnie Nevans and Crystal Steel came up with the idea to help the community feel a sense of community. This idea was a mural created by anyone who wanted to participate. Each volunteer was given a package of materials with instructions on how to create a small part of the mural. The individual pieces looked very abstract and neither Nevans nor Steele told any of the participants what the whole piece would look like.

“I just liked the teamwork and how everyone’s individual styles came together to create one big, beautiful piece,” Nevans said. “At the time, Orange Poppy was still a dream come true. We thought that if we could achieve that, maybe we could turn it into something. “

On June 10, the Chamber of Commerce of the Big Island celebrated by cutting a ribbon of Art Studio Orange Poppy, 323B Lang Blvd.

The Chamber of Commerce has been part of Orange Poppy’s growth from the beginning.

“We first spent a summer at the Chamber of Commerce. They allowed us to use their building as a business incubator. “We managed to organize summer camps out of that,” Nevans said. “Then we finally got our own building in Whitehaven and Baysline, where we were for about a year and a half. It was great for what we needed, but we needed more space and better access without stairs. Such things. When this place came along, we took a risk and here we are.

“It’s really exciting on the Island for people to take risks in business and expand and find different ways to do business,” said Eric Fibelkorn, president of the Chamber of Commerce. “It’s great to see more women-owned companies in our mix, because I still don’t think that’s enough and we have two such exceptional people. The biggest disadvantage of this is that not enough people know about it, as many of our businesses. Your word of mouth here as community leaders beats any radio commercial you could ever make. We are people who move, shake and talk about things at the local and regional level. ”

Nevans said, “It’s wonderful. I’m so excited. I can’t believe it’s really here and it’s really happening. We are just excited about the future. ”

Everyone is welcome to come to Orange Poppy Art Studio to create art, Nevans and Still said. Their website describes the “art of processes” studio as “a place without judgment, where people can relax from their busy lives and return to that childish state of creation just to create.”

“You don’t have to be an artist. In fact, we prefer if you’re the type who thinks you’re not an artist, because we want to help you have fun creating and doing something a little different, “Nevans said.

Nevans and Still offer classes for people of all ages, from young children to the elderly. They both said they would like to see more people experience art at Orange Poppy Art Studio.

“Please spread the word,” Steele said. If you have any questions, please contact us. We will be glad to see you in class. We make dinner nights. Bring … anyone. Bring your children, bring your grandchildren. “

To sign up for classes for yourself or a child, check out the Orange Poppy Art Studio website at

As for the mural, it now hangs in the children’s section of the Grand Island Memorial Library. “Initially, our idea was to exhibit it at the Welcome Center, but it occurred to the New York State Bureaucracy that in the end we just decided to remove this and the next best place we could think of was the library.”

“It’s wonderful,” Nevans told the studio. “I’m so excited. I can’t believe it’s really here and it’s really happening. We’re just excited about the future.”

Bonnie Nevans and Crystal Style in the new space of Orange Poppy Art Studio on Lang Boulevard.

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