Farragut artist and mom of three, Paige DeFreece, has found the perfect answer for her creative chaos: she’s opened an art studio where she can dive into projects herself or teach others how to create. Off the Paige Art & Design Studio opened at 6512 Baum Drive in the Bearden area on April 29. Her husband, Mike DeFreece; children, Meagan, Steven, and Parker; mother, Priscilla Beard, and sister, Missy Fierley, were part of the meet-and-greet, and DeFreece said hers will be a family business.
“I’m slowly dragging them all in,” she said with laughter.
She plans to teach private lessons, classes and offer open studio time for artists.
DeFreece got started teaching art classes for children and adults when she lived in Atlanta. Her students have worked with clay, created huge plaster of Paris animals, made photo quilts — and even sculpted cakes. Two years ago, the family moved back to Farragut, along with all her creations and supplies, but her full-size sculpture of a football player crashing through a wall is still hanging at a Beef O’Brady’s in Atlanta.
“I drove my family crazy,” she recalled. “The house was a mess and I was usually covered in plaster, paint or sawdust. I even turned all of my kids’ feet green from airbrushing a Lego cake with blue and yellow. I didn’t realize that whatever food color didn’t ‘land’ on the cake eventually landed on the floor … or the furniture … or the ceiling. Lesson learned.
“There were other times when I had nothing to offer for dinner except the dinosaur leg I was creating in plaster on the kitchen table.
Dinner? Why? What time is it?
“Eventually, over the years, I learned how to slow the ideas and images without eliminating them. I’ve embraced my multiple interests and my quirky projects and thanked God every day for the ability to just be me.
“When I began to create my business in 2016, the only name that seemed suitable was ‘Off the Paige,’ she said. “It encompasses everything. I’m not limited. I can create a sculptured cake one day and then sew a photo quilt the next. I can make a giant dinosaur costume for Halloween, teach kids to make Santa hat candy dishes out of clay and still do bathroom renovations.
“The name fits me, as well. You have to be a little ‘off’ to dream up a 3-D football player crashing through a wall to catch a pass. I know it sounds crazy, but the smiles that I’ve seen make me smile that much more. And the joy I receive means so much more to me than the money I earn. That is why all profits from Off the Paige will support my non-profit, ‘Dandelion Wishes.’
“For the past decade, I have dreamed of starting a non-profit for those going through painful times. As we all know, cancer is such a demon. Then there’s Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and so many more. Losing a loved one, experiencing the heartache of divorce, feeling desperately alone and depressed, etc., — all of these things bring so much pain and heartache,” she said. “I know that a special gift won’t change the circumstances, but it provides a little break from the pain?”
“If you know someone experiencing painful times, please message me through my Facebook page Off the Paige – Art & Design or through my website,” DeFreece added.
Classes will be taught by DeFreece and other artists in a variety of areas: kiln-fired clay, plaster, mixed media, edible art, kiln-fired glass and painting, with other areas to come.
For more information, visit the business website at www.offthepaige.com or contact DeFreece at 865-440-0503.
All classes are offered on both adult and child levels. The studio is open to the
public for classes, private lessons, appointments and open studio times.