Studio, gallery open in historic Bath building

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

BATH — It took no time at all for Eileen Sanger to fall in love with North Carolina’s oldest town.

“The first time I came down here, I said, ‘I want to live here,’” Sanger said. “It’s a beautiful area. This town has a lot to offer as artists. I can’t see a better a place to just plant myself.”

Since making the move, Sanger has been bringing that beauty to life in oil, on canvas and on panels. She’s carved out studio space in the circa 1905 Swindell Cash Store on South Main Street — fellow artist Jenny Mastin’s Jenluma Clayworks Studio is just down a short hall.

Sanger Art Studio and Gallery is full of light; its exposed brick walls studded with Sanger’s work, many featuring luminescent scenes: a wandering road, a spray of flowers, a barn surrounded by field. If they seem familiar, that’s because they likely are.

“The landscapes are beautiful around here, and I enjoy painting water scenes, too. So this a perfect location for me,” Sanger said.

Sanger said she’d been painting for as long as she can remember. In her native Long Island, New York, she got her start at outdoor art shows, which transitioned to selling out of her own studio. From there, her paintings found their way into galleries.

Accompanied by Toby, her “little art dog,” she paints in the studio — currently a large oil of mast and sail underway occupies her easel — and paints en plein air, taking palette and brushes out into nature to capture a scene on canvas.

IN OILS: Sanger finds beauty, and subject matter, in the scenery surrounding Bath. Here, Sanger works on one of her oil paintings in progress. (Vail Stewart Rumley/Daily News)

Sanger said having permanent studio space also gives her the opportunity to share her knowledge with others. She teaches painting and drawing classes; the next is Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. She also hosts painting parties, but unlike those in which participants are tasked with painting the same scene, she teaches paint-partiers to paint in the style of a famous artist: Matisse, Monet, Georgia O’Keefe — the latest was Cezanne. Each class is a blend of art and history.

“It’s just a fun night. You’re learning a little art history, and you’re getting to paint in the style of a famous artist,” Sanger said. “It’s two hours, and you can go home with a really beautiful masterpiece that you can frame.”

The paint parties run $35 per person, all supplies are included except painters’ beverage of choice, and can be scheduled for private groups, she said.

Now part of a burgeoning arts scene in Bath, Sanger Art Studio and Gallery and JenJuma Clayworks Studio invite the public to join them at an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1. Both studios are located in the rear of the Swindwell Cash Store building at 103 S. Main St., Bath.

For more information about Eileen Sanger’s work and classes, visit, the studio’s Facebook page, or call 631-838-1622.