Artists combine studios to prove Life Needs Art

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Hudson -- Long-time friends and fellow artists Karen Koch and Dana Giel-Ray recently combined their separate mediums and talents into a viable downtown business in which both studios operate under the same roof.

Koch, a painter, owns Life Needs Art, and Giel-Ray, who makes artistic jewelry, owns Bellabor Art Jewelry. The combined studio at 220 N. Main St., Suite B, on the upper level. The studio's grand opening was Nov. 9.

"Dana and I both live in Hudson, and we love it," Koch said. "Hudson already has a rich arts community, which we thought would welcome another addition to the scene."

The is the first public studio for both artists, according to Koch. Both had worked corporate jobs which they left to pursue their love of art.

"We have both wanted to be full-time artists since we were kids: it's a life-long dream for us," Koch said. "We have been making our art on the side for years, but have outgrown our home studios. When we discovered that we both had the same dream, pursuing those dreams together seemed like perfect timing."

The studio, about 200 square feet, is on the upper level of My Little Red Wagon. "Despite the size, we have plenty of room to create and show our work," Koch said.

The studio is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Thursday and Friday the studio closes at 6 p.m. The studio closes at 4 p.m. on Sundays and is closed Mondays.

"We are pretty unique to Hudson," Giel-Ray said. "We are one of a very few who have working studios where guests can purchase original works. Everything is made by us and it's all original."

Both artists will offer classes after January, Koch said.

"Rather than just displaying finished work for our visitors, we offer them the opportunity to see art in action," Koch said. "So many people enjoy art when it's on display, but rarely have the chance to see the inside of an artist's studio. Our studio allows visitors to go behind the scenes to find out where inspiration comes from and how artistic decisions are made."

The artists both have bachelor's degrees in art and are long-time Hudson residents who live across the street from each other.

For more information on Life Needs Art, visit or email Koch at For more information on Bellabor Art Jewelry visit or email Giel-Ray at


Phone: 330-541-9435

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