Eli Siso’s initial plans to own a consignment and resale shop on the Square didn’t include plans for an art gallery or studio, but plans change.
Siso, 60, of Woodstock, had a small store in Harvard before moving to Woodstock in fall of 2016. The opening of his shop, formerly known as Treasure Box, on the Square brought in curious customers who noticed the artwork on the walls.
The artwork, all Siso’s own creations, hangs throughout the store located at 109 Dean Street. After hanging his paintings, customers took notice, wanting to purchase them and learn more about the artist.
“After the second day, three people wanted to buy it. It was the coolest thing. They asked me who the artist was. I was so inspired,” Siso said.
Siso has been painting his whole life and believes that while people tend to stop painting, true artists continue to paint throughout their lives.
His decision to shift his business from a reseller to an art studio came shortly after he opened his doors. As soon as Christmas was over, he removed the signage from his storefront window. The new direction for his business is teaching others to express their lives through art, as he has done all of his life.
“How do you make a living doing what you love? We need to satisfy our soul. We were born to share. That’s my gift. Tt always has been,” he said.
All of his artwork is inspired from life experiences, both positive and negative, and he is eager to share those experiences through talking with customers and interpretation of his artwork.
Siso also believes that art can be expressed through dance, and he’s recently started to teach salsa lessons in the studio. The space can accommodate up to six students. So far, he’s recruited students just from placing a sign in front of his shop. Someday he plans to add yoga to his offerings, as well. He will continue to sell the earrings he has hand-made for many years, which cover most of the walls in his studio.
“I’m 60 years old. I realized I have to live my dream all the way, instead of keep putting it off. I’m making my dream come true,” he said.