Ashley Prince envisioned a playful, eclectic and unique art studio when she took over the building located on the 4000 block of Morningside Avenue. With its tarnished wooden floor, tin ceiling and faux-copper pipes, Pickled Palette has just the right atmosphere to kickstart someone’s creative side — exactly what Prince had hoped for.
“It’s a creative outlet for anybody who’s seeking to express creativity,” said Prince, who is the sole instructor and owner of Pickled Palette. The establishment opened in November 2014 and offers painting classes, pottery services and lots of space for people to get in touch with their artistic side.
“I’ve always enjoyed teaching and getting others involved in art,” said Prince. “So spreading that passion of art with other people is just a good fit for me.”
Born and raised in Sioux City, Prince was always involved with fine arts in high school. She worked in watercolors, acrylics, oil, you name it.
With a woodworking grandfather and an all-around art savvy mother, Prince said she also had a bit of an artistic gift. But Prince said her high school art teacher helped hone her skills and really encouraged her to pursue a career in art or design. That passion for art carried on with her to college at Iowa State University.
“I went to school for graphic design thinking I’ll get out of the starving artist life,” she said. “After I graduated and pursued a career in design for quite some time — I had been doing that full-time until just a couple months ago — I took on the studio full-time.”
The design and artistic community at ISU introduced Prince to a diverse selection of fine arts.
“Being able to be submerged in that culture for four years and just see the kind of quality that can come out of a college of design, it really shaped me to who I am now,” said Prince. “I got a good feel of a lot of different practices.”
It’s that kind of community Prince hopes can be replicated in Pickled Palette. She would also like to see it become an art hub for anyone, not just local artists.
“I think there is potential for Sioux City to grow in the art scene and the art world in general,” said Prince. “Some people say, ‘Why open up a studio in Sioux City that maybe doesn’t have an art scene like Omaha or Des Moines?’ But why not? Why not help bring the art culture to a head?”
Eventually Prince would like to display local art on consignment on the studio's massive walls. But she isn't looking to rush that idea any time soon, deciding to take it slow and continue to host public and private events.
As a walk-in friendly studio, Pickled Palette's pottery services are open all day, any day. Prince decided to only charge customers for the actual pottery piece (and not for any additional artist or firing fees), stating "there should be no limit or restrictions on creativity."
Prince said Pickled Palette is a great place to have a drink (BYOB) and a night of art. Prince never pictured herself owning a studio and teaching people how to paint. Now she can't see herself doing anything else.
"It's a passion of mine, so being able to offer that to people of Siouxland is just crazy still thinking about it," she said. "It makes me happy."