Hair salon-turned-art-studio to hold open house this Friday

Audrey Gomez

Deb Cooley is well known locally as the proprietor of Deb’s Hair Boutique at 1531 Main St.

She’s also active in music, writing and visual art, and for a little more than a year has been hosting open studio nights, at first in the front of her hair salon, and more recently in a back room.

This Friday, Oct. 23, some of the work she and her colleagues have created will be on public display at Deb’s Open Gallery & Studio, located in the same building as Deb’s Hair Boutique.

Cooley has been doing hair for 35 years, 17 years at the same location in Sweet Home.

She also loves her art.

“I’ve painted all my life,” Cooley said. “Art is engrained in me.”

Her mother and grandmother used to paint at the kitchen table; she was welcome to use their leftover supplies, except for the oil paints.

Participants at the Thursday evening gatherings bring their own supplies, but they share in other ways.

They “feed off of each others’ ideas,” Cooley said.

Regular attendees welcome newcomers and offer help, when they can.

At the Oct. 15 get-together, Cooley held off working on her own project to share a technique of layer paint, a single color at a time.

“Mostly we do acrylic, water color, collage,” she said.

One person, who comes with her mother, brings in scrapbooking.

Cooley would like to add more artists, she said, possibly some who work with clay, metal, or jewelry.

There is no participation fee to join in the open studio, but eventually there probably will be, she said.