If you are an artist, aspiring to become one or simply a lover of fine arts looking to explore your creativity and shop local, Karen Klucowicz’s studio k2 is the only place in Hamilton where your needs will not only be met, but far exceeded.
A fine art painter with vast experience in marketing, advertising and graphic and interior design, Karen opened her studio in 2019 with an aim to share her passion for art and use her expertise to grow the arts culture within the Hamilton community.
“I was drawn to Hamilton because of the growing reputation of the arts industry here,” Karen said. “One of the things I really love about Hamilton is that it has a big city vibe and offerings, but still has the capability of feeling like a community.”
“I decided to move to Hamilton from Toronto in 2019 and that’s when I decided to start my own studio and grow my livelihood so that I can do workshops and team-building events, and just share my passion for the arts,” she said. “I also want to share the space with other practicing artists, so I do group exhibitions, which will hopefully grow to the point where I have other artists teaching here as well.”
Karen’s admiration for the city’s culture was the catalyst in her mission to allow individuals to explore their creativity and for artists to advance their careers.
By facilitating corporate team-building workshops, retreat offerings, an artwork gallery for collectors and artist-to-artist opportunities, studio k2 gave Karen a platform to achieve her ambitions so that the Hamilton arts community can shop locally and do so proudly.
“I think that when we shop locally, we’re supporting our own city and ultimately our life and lifestyle benefits from that,” Karen said. “As a small business, when people come to my studio, it makes the difference between surviving, making a living, and crashing out.”
“For me, shopping local means to look in your own city first for what you need. If it doesn’t exist there then you may have to move on beyond it, but I really hope that most people would try to source it locally first, then provincially and then nationally or beyond if they have to.”
In a very short timeframe, Karen has transformed studio k2 into Hamilton’s haven for all art lovers and enthusiasts, particularly in the last year and a half while having to endure the threat the COVID pandemic posed on the continuity of her business.
With her back against the wall, Karen was able to revamp her business model almost entirely to suit the current climate and did so with the help of the outpouring support she received from the City of Hamilton and its community.
“The last year and a half has been a huge challenge for me, as it has for so many others,” Karen said. “The one thing it has really taught me is that life is completely unpredictable but it also taught me that I am more capable than I thought.”
“Having to pivot to virtual classes, workshops, learning new software and equipment has been a challenge and exhausting sometimes,” she said. “But from a new business perspective, I’ve had great support from Hamilton from programs like the Starter Company Plus, which I participated in, and mentorship and advice from Invest in Hamilton, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and even the YWCA.”
Moving forward, Karen is shifting her focus on weathering the recovery process to ensure her studio’s survival and to continue to grow the love of Hamilton’s arts community that has embraced her as one of their own.
She wants to continue to create and promote new art experiences to encourage businesses to recognize the value in team-building so that they’ll host interactive events in which people can get together and participate with family and friends.
“The future of the studio is really unpredictable at this point,” Karen said. “The next few months are a real make-or-break for me.”
“We need people to book experiences, I am hoping to share this space with other artists to manage the cost while I continue to operate and expand the offerings of the studio so it grows to include other artists making a livelihood here as well,” she said.
Studio k2 is the perfect spot to shop local for all things art in Hamilton and you can do so by checking them out @k2chats on Instagram, @studio2chat on Facebook, studiok2.ca on the web and in person at 156 Parkdale Ave N in Hamilton.
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