Artists in Residence

At Lee Street Studios

Studio One

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Thomas Ruggiero

Thomas Ruggiero is an artist & fashion designer native to Lewisburg, WV. As a resident of Lee Street Studios, he crafts handmade one-of-a-kind garments and impasto ink fashion illustrations. In oil paint, he paint portraits and landscapes. Thomas's practice focuses on a marriage of modernity in design and traditional approaches in craft.

Studio Two

Fiber Arts Group


Susan Ernst

Susan was first introduced to handweaving in 1994 at the Augusta Heritage Festival at a Beginning Weaving Class. "I was surprised by how much, and how quickly the craft took hold of me." By 1997, Susan decided that handweaving would be her full time occupation.  August 1997 marked the termination of her present employment and the onset of full time self-assigned work with textiles being the lens through which she saw everything.
Susan currently produces both woven and knit textiles for sale, teaches textile arts at Carnegie Hall, participates in the Arts in Education program in schools, design consults with Appalachian Baby Design and is a juried Tamarack Artist.

Studio Three


Wendy Reagor

Trained as a fashion illustrator and graphic designer, I am still seeking out new techniques to enhance my old skills. I consider this time in my life to be an ongoing art quest where I learn a new technique, make a beautiful mess, and rise again with a new body of work. My current work is mixed media painting. I use acrylic paint, alcohol ink, oil pastels, watercolors, and collage.
I splatter, drip and make random scrapes and marks with paint to create my under painting or first layer on canvas. From there I search for familiar natural shapes to emerge. I isolate these shapes from the chaotic background layer to eventually uncover flowers, faces, birds, or a coral reef. This “impressionistic” technique reminds me to try to look at the chaos in our lives and find beauty. It also calms me down and helps me to reduce critical over-thinking about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. When I throw some colors of alcohol ink or fluid acrylics down on paper and watch the colors flow into each other, it allows me to put things in perspective, like in a state of meditation with a paint brush.

Studio Five

Lory Van Buren

I am a native West Virginian. Without saying my age, I attended Lewisburg Junior High in what is now Lee Street Studios and my kid went to elementary school there for awhile, ha!

I am a pharmacist by trade and have always had a love for art and for making things.

Seeing the importance of the benefits that making things can have in people's life, my ultimate goal is to provide opportunities for not only myself but others to come together, create something beautiful, share and repair with the art of creative therapy if you will.

My love is for paper.  I also greatly enjoy fiber arts (specifically needle felting) and sewing. I did a demonstration with Stampin Up products at Lee Street before Covid and found that it was a very shareable way to offer takeaways.  Eventually I would like to build up classes into bigger makes like journals.  For now tho, I would love to become consistent with class offerings by card making.

Studio Six


Jeanne Brenneman

Jeanne began painting in 1972. Moving to WV from PA in 1973, she continued to pursue her love of watercolor. She is a founding member of the Greenbrier Artists, a local group who have met regularly to paint in Greenbrier County, WV since 1974, and a signature member of the West Virginia Watercolor Society.
She has shown work in local, state, and national juried exhibitions, and has often won awards. She has done commissioned work for numerous corporations and individuals. One of her paintings hangs in the permanent collection of the Alma Byrd Gallery at the University of Charleston, WV. She paints and teaches watercolor classes at her home studio in Lewisburg, where she lives with her husband, Bruce.

Studio Nine


Shea Newton

Shea Newton specializes in custom jewelry design and manufacturing. In 2008, Shea received a BFA in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. After graduation, Shea began working in downtown Philadelphia on the historic Jewelers' Row. After relocating to wild and wonderful West Virginia, she combined her years of experience working with multiple jewelry manufacturers to establish her brand of designs. 

When designing, Shea uses the CAD software Matrix Gemvision to create three-dimensional jewelry models. These models are 3D printed in wax, then cast in metal. To satisfy her love of hands-on work, she balances her time between computer design and hand fabricating at her jeweler's bench. Lee Street Studios serve as Shea's design studio and office to discuss custom jewelry design with clients. 

Shea now lives on her family homestead, Rainbow Farm, with her husband and their two children. When she is not designing, you can often find her tackling farm chores, putting up hay, or tending to the garden.

Shea's work is available for purchase at her online store, where you can also start your journey into the custom design process.
Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @sheanewjewelry to stay up to date on her latest designs.

Studio Ten


Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell creates objects of beauty, function, integrity, and spirit.  Using a unique vocabulary of impressed and incised markings on raw clay, he composes distinctive expressive statements.  Sean is an observer of life.  His range of influences include African and Pre Columbian cultures as well as contemporary ceramic artists.  “The only rules for working clay are time, gravity and fire…The rest is up to us.”

Studio Eleven

John Preston

John Preston has been making and repairing violin family instruments since 1980. The violins are made in the traditional manner, using tools and techniques known of the Cremona Italy makers of the early 18th century. Currently, John has been using the violin models of Giuseppe “del Gesu” Guarneri for inspiration, including the “Cessole” and Vieuxtemps violins. As founder and owner (previous) of Old World Tonewood Company, John supplied quality spruce and maple for 15 years to violin makers world-wide. Thus, John was able to gain much knowledge of the woods used in violin making and aslo had the opportunity to select prime materials for his own making. The woods used for John’s violins come from Europe, primarily Romania.

Studio Twelve

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Ginkgo Yoga and Wellness

Studio Twelve is proudly the home of local yoga, massage, and meditation.

Visit for more.

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Elyse Gerard

I began painting at the "Ridgewood School of Art" when I was 10 years old.  Encouraged by my mother who is a fine painter in her own right, I learned the basics of chiaroscuro painting in oils. I attended for 4 years on awards and scholarships. I continued learning more conceptual practices at Bard College, graduating in 1983. 

Deferring to the need for food and shelter, I began a career on Wall Street and spent 18 years as a business analyst, painting only portrait commissions until I moved to West Virginia in 2001.

Greenbrier County, WV is spectacularly beautiful and inspired me to begin my first landscape paintings in 2003 and have been the commissioned portrait artist for the Masters of Golf series of portraits For the Greenbrier Sporting Club in White Sulphur Springs, WV. “

Studio Thirteen

Studio Eighteen

West Virginia Woodturners Association

The West Virginia Woodturners Association was formed in Lewisburg to educate both woodturners and the public in the art and craft of woodturning. Building from a few skilled tuners, we have attracted and trained many creative members, and produced a wide range of turned wood pieces.

We encourage others to join our woodturning association and join us in our activities in creating artwork from fallen trees. We are proud to see our turned wooden objects of today become tomorrow's heritage and history.

When you get right down to it, we just enjoy woodturning! Our purpose is to have fun learning to do it better and teaching others woodturning.