Mabel Studios: For the Record

Article Published: Oct. 28, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Mabel Studios: For the Record

Paul Fuelling offers a peak into his new studio in Mabel.

Photo by Paul Fuelling

Six years ago, artists Paul and Kim Fuelling took out a loan and bought three acres in Mabel.
On the property stood an old woodcarver's shop, which they intended to remodel into their home, studio and gallery, called Mabel Studios. That first winter was harsh.

"It was a cinderblock shell with no doors or heat," Kim said. "The winter was rough. We pretty much camped in this building."

Six years later, the extensive renovation is complete, and an antique woodstove sits on timber frames inside the studio. Rusted corrugated roofing sides the house, and the awning above their entrance is a windshield from a 1964 Dodge.

The only thing missing is a sign saying Mabel Studios.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 10 p.m., Mabel Studios will host its first public gallery exhibit and open house to celebrate the completion of its home, work and gallery space.

The show is called "For the Record." The Fuellings sent out 50 vinyl records across the country, including several to people in the High Country, to design.

Artists and non-artists will have their creations displayed.

"Some of the work might be the first thing they've done since grade school, while other people in the show are professional, top of their game artists," Paul Fueling said. "The contrast between the two is one interesting thing about this show."

Inspirations for this exhibit are the defunct Black Mountain School of Art, as well as artist Ray Johnson.

"He used to mail out works of art and say, 'Please add to and return to Ray Johnson,'" Kim said. "I put that on a lot of the albums I sent out, 'Please add to and return to Mabel Studios.' I borrowed that from him."

Mabel Studios looks forward to collaborating with other artists in the community. "If there are local artists with a body of work looking for a gallery, and the chemistry is right, we are more than willing to start a conversation," Paul said.

Both graduates of the John Herron School of Art in Indiana, the Fuellings came to Boone in 1999, initially for rock climbing, and never left.

"I always assumed I would do a gallery like this in an urban setting, like a downtown warehouse" Paul said. "We found this place, and it seemed right."

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