The Studio CT was founded by local artists through the nonprofit, The RiseUP Group, Inc.
Our mission is to make art accessible to all communities, recognizing its power to inspire, educate, and enrich lives. By providing low-cost or free art classes, we strive to break down barriers and create opportunities for personal growth and creativity.
Since 2015, The RiseUP Group, Inc. has been painting murals and creating public art throughout Connecticut. As RiseUP's pipeline of projects grew in 2021 we quickly realized we needed a creative space to call our own.
We began looking for a space in Hartford, CT and the birth of The Studio CT happened at the historic Dirt Salon on April 1, 2022 in the Parkville neighborhood with artists Michael Rice and Julie Bergeron. Since opening our Hartford location we are also operating The Studio at the NEST ARTS FACTORY in Bridgeport, CT with artists Lori Bloom and Camille Enkeboll.
The Studio CT is currently operating thanks to grants. Grants and donations help to keep ours workshops, memberships, and exhibits low to no costs for artists.
Meet the Founding Artists
Lori Bloom is a local working artist and art educator. Her passion for working with children brought her to the Bridgeport Public Schools, where she taught both general education and art education. In 2021 she left public to follow a dream to open a studio space.
Michael Rice is a self-taught visual artist, designer and creator. His journey has afforded him the opportunity to explore many forms of art, including ceramics, sculpture, product and graphic design. However, his true passion lies in painting. Rooted in 80’s and 90’s counterculture, and heavily influenced by today’s technological landscape, Rice’s clean and precise style transcends genres and evokes a unique aesthetic that glides from nostalgic to futuristic.
Camille’s mission is to Connect-Inspire-Create. She hopes to foster deep connections with others so they feel seen, heard, and celebrated for being themselves. She wants to share in the lessons of gratitude, kindness, and positivity to encourage confidence in others to know that they have the power to create the life of their dreams.
Julie’s work includes murals, painting, drawing, ceramics, group exhibitions, teaching, workshop facilitation, curriculum development and program management. She has worked extensively with schools and public organizations, always with a focus on creativity, community, teambuilding, and positive youth development.
Director- Hartford County
Matt is Executive Director of the RiseUP group and believes that creativity and the arts are the future of Connecticut. He has supported the creation of over 100 placemaking and mural projects throughout the country, mostly concentrated in Connecticut. Matt leads the growth, operation, and strategy of RiseUP and The Studio.
Director- Fairfield County
Wilson B. Beltran is a young and fiery, transformative leader and entrepreneur, who has dedicated the past decade to community, arts and culture. Wilson has helped shape and grow artistic brands and startups with his creative thinking, determined spirit and business savviness. Through his experience with local brands like MAD, browngrotta arts, Juice Creative Group and many more, Wilson innately brings value to The Studio CT and all RiseUP affiliated projects.