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story.lead_photo.caption Liv Paggiarino/News Tribune Janis Burgen and Penny Jarden stand for a portrait in front of one of the several colorful walls of paintings at The Art Gallery-Studio on Tuesday. The art space opens on June 12 and will feature classes on several mediums of art, including painting, crafting, beading and glass fusing.

At The Art Gallery-Studio, it's all about being positive.

Owner Penny Jarden is quick to say she's nothing more than the building owner, while manager Janis Burgin emphatically disagrees. Burgin is the experienced teacher, but Jarden has gone from an enthusiastic student to a business partner who is more involved than she may let on.

"This all just happened," Jarden said with a chuckle.

Burgin said she has been teaching art for about 20 years in the Jefferson City area, but she lost her existing space to teach when the global pandemic closed many available spots. Then, Jarden, a student of Burgin's, seemed to stumble into building ownership.

Jarden said she reads the News Tribune every day, and one day last year, she read the real estate section when she had run out of news sections but still had coffee left. That's when she saw the building at 1014 Northeast Drive listed at a price she thought must have been a mistake. But Jarden said she called her real estate agent to find out more and wound up putting in an offer for even less than the listed price, figuring it wouldn't get accepted.

But it did.

So Jarden said she took the next step to seek out a loan, again figuring it wouldn't happen and things would stop there.

But she got a loan.

"I guess I got a building. Now what am I gonna do?" Jarden recalled asking herself.

With an established business in the lower level, Jarden said she quickly thought about Burgin for the upper level and brought her to the space with some fellow students.

"I think God set this whole thing up, and it works for everybody," Jarden said. "I still can't even believe this; it's just so incredible."

The business has been hosting some private classes as they gear up for the grand opening Saturday. Once they open, classes will be available by appointment only. Ongoing classes that will be offered include glass fusing, pour acrylic, oil painting and a summer childrens camp. Special classes include watercolor and cooking, but both Burgin and Jarden said they are open to hosting more classes if anyone is looking for a space to teach.

In the private classes they've held so far, Burgin said she loves to see the look on Jarden's face as she watches over.

"She loves seeing people happy," Burgin said.

And for Burgin, it's all about inspiring people, especially those who think they're not an artist. After all, it just takes a little lesson in techniques, she said, to help people bring out their own expressive interpretation of a project.

"Anybody can be an artist," Burgin said.

It's that attitude that helps make the entire venture so fun for the otherwise retired Jarden, who has taken on teaching a class of her own for those who are into crafting.

"In my whole life, I have never had this much fun," Jarden said.

The Art Gallery-Studio is located at 1014 Northeast Drive. In addition to classes, the business offers art for sale and commissioned works. The space is also available for rent at $25 per hour with a minimum of two hours required for a reservation.

To set up a private class, inquire about teaching or art for sale, or to learn more, send an email to [email protected] or text or call Burgin at 573-338-3866.

Know of any business happenings around Jefferson City? Let us know at [email protected] newstribune.com.

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