When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in 2020, it wasn’t only Henry Matthiessen’s art business that had to change.
The art itself needed to change as well.
Matthiessen, who owns Stoned Art Studio in Dubuque, found himself forced to close the doors of his gallery, removing the ability to show his pieces to customers in person. His custom-made stone oil lamps benefited the most from the in-person showings and were a high selling product for his business. With his store closed off from the public throughout the pandemic, Matthiessen said, interest in the lamps faded.
“If there were no showings, then I had to forget about selling a lot of stone lamps,” he said. “I had to totally rethink the plan for my business.”
The pandemic forced many local artists to adapt their art and business model in order to survive. For Matthiessen, that adaptation came from spending even more time