Amanda and dan LaGuardia know the struggle of finding an affordable studio in the city. As professional photographers without a workspace, the spouses wanted to help themselves and house other artists too. So in 2013, the LaGuardias began renovating a vacant mop factory on East 25th Street and opened Lake Affect Studios late last year with 11 studios. Now with a liquor license, they plan to use the upstairs for weddings and live music, with the possibility of adding an art gallery or catering kitchen. "We've had to go through a lot of hurdles," says Dan. "I envision [the studios] having the ability to never stop changing or creating new ideas and opportunities for both artists and visitors." Meet three of the studio natives.
Ben Soltis and Tyler Stutzman Jewelry
Combining Tyler Stutzman's expertise designing medical equipment and Ben Soltis' experience managing Xhibition shoe store, the duo began casting "jewelry" — er, grills — in March. Say My Name: To cast the silver and gold teeth, the pair creates a mold of a client's mouth, shapes a wax outline around selected teeth and makes a 3-D print. "People say they want their name spelled out in their teeth," says Soltis. Bling Ring: Both partners have made grills for themselves. "It gets pretty addictive," says Stutzman.
Lab Cabin Cleveland
Since 2013, the six-person art collective including Chad Fedorovich, who also builds oversized sneaker boxes for Your Sole Vault, has collaborated on murals and live painting installations.Tune In: Lab Cabin has designed album covers for Smoke Noises, DJ E-V and Marcus Alan Ward. "Music inspires me," says Fedorovich.Graffiti Game: One of Fedorovich's favorite pieces is a live 10-by-10-foot mural done for Gay Games 9. "It was a really positive atmosphere," he says. "We were able to communicate with the people while we were painting."
Moxie Film Co.
The eight-man company is comprised of high school friends who create shorts and commercials. Flip The Script: Kyle Gallagher convinced his Riverside High School teachers to let him make short films in lieu of other assignments. "I had to do a project about the types of rocks, so we made The Rocktrix," says Gallagher. "That's The Matrix but with rocks."Voter Turnout: Last fall, Moxie made three commercials, which aired 400 times in Northeast Ohio, for Ohio state Rep. John M. Rogers' successful campaign. "We had one air during Monday Night Football," Gallagher says.