March 28, 2016

Studio 12 opens in a new Avon location

After spending the better part of the past year renovating the old “pink building” on Highway 12 in Avon, owners Carolyn and Gary Schena today opened their business, Studio 12, in a new location in Avon.

You will now find Studio 12 at 41008 Highway 12, situated across from the Avon Pier and in between Surf or Sound Realty and Hatteras Island Boardsports, in a building that is now painted a cheerful green.

“It has been a long process, we have spent eight months working on this building,” Gary Schena says “tearing it down all the way to the studs, and then building it back up again, it is the biggest project I have ever worked on.” 

The Schenas first opened Studio 12 in 2004 when they relocated to Hatteras Island from New York.  They envisioned a place where families could enjoy some quiet relaxation, while creating their own unique memories and souvenirs in art.  Over the years, the Schenas expanded their business, now offering pottery painting, mosaics, glass fusion, and a gallery that carries the work of more than 35 different local artists. 

The Schenas are award-winning artists themselves. Carolyn works in glass and paints, and Gary is a potter. 

“We love sharing what we know about making art with our customers” says Carolyn.  “And we are inspired by our customers, especially kids. They have such creativity and a sense of adventure always coming up with such great ideas.” Carolyn, as well as several other artists, from the gallery teach various art classes at the studio throughout the year. 

Being creative and having a sense of adventure ended up being requirements for the Schenas as they took on the huge task of renovating the nearly 4,000-square-foot building that had been vacant for five years.  Built in 1986, the building was first home to The Ship's Galley restaurant, run by the O’Reilly family.  Other businesses Hatteras Island visitors might remember include The Green Room, Tate Bud’s Café, and Oceana Bistro.

In 2011, Hurricane Irene damaged the roof, and the building stood vacant with a gaping ceiling for rain to pour in. Many different businesses housed in the building over the years had left a patch work of interior walls, finishes, and flooring. 

“ We had to completely gut the interior of the building,” says Gary “ and that took more time than we had anticipated, but we are thankful that we were are able to get the work done and have it ready to open this spring.” 

The renovation job included a new roof and new subflooring in much of the building, as well as the removal of more than 1,000 square feet of tile and several interior walls.  New support beams were installed, along with new wiring and plumbing throughout.  Carolyn has been writing about the renovation process on the Studio 12 blog. 

“I am so amazed and thankful for our community,” Carolyn says “I have been blown away by the response from our neighbors who have not only thanked us for improving the neighborhood with the renovation project but brought us help when we needed it, whether is was equipment, manpower or even ice cream sandwiches on a hot day of painting!” 

In addition to the Schena’s art studio and gallery, there will also be a coffee and smoothie shop, serving all fruit smoothies and fresh roasted coffees, and espresso. 

2016 marks 12 years that the Schena’s have been business owners on Hatteras Island and residents of the Hatteras Island community, and they say that they are excited to see what the next 12 years will bring! 

To learn about the art classes and other fun going on at Studio 12, visit their website at

comments powered by Disqus