Artists can help a community flourish, and Scarlett Pons is doing that and more for the city of Fredericksburg.
Scarlett Pons attended Virginia Tech to pursue an education in architecture. While there, she began designing and creating her own ceramics pieces; she focused on constructing art that not only looked beautiful but was functional as well.
In 2010, Scarlett and her husband, Gabriel Pons, opened their own brick and mortar store, Ponshop Studio and Gallery, in downtown Fredericksburg. Greek themes can be seen in Gabriel's paintings while he explores the apposition of the old and the new, and Scarlett's ceramics are created through a variety of techniques including slab, the potters wheel and stencils.
There is a rich and organic feel to Scarlett's work, and she completes her pieces with glazes she makes herself in her studio.
"I have recipes for glaze," Pons said. "I have all of my different ingredients, and I am always tweaking them to make them my own."
Not only does the studio and gallery feature original creations by the artistic duo, but Scarlett and Gabriel also offer classes for individuals and families.
"We have group classes for families," Pons said. "We always encourage parents to come in with their kids."
Scarlett believes in encouraging children to be creative in their own way, and she also feels that it is important for parents to engage with their children in the studio.
"I think you should let your kid do their own thing," Pons said. "And if you allow your kids to be creative then it's an insight into what they are thinking and feeling."
Scarlett is an artist, businesswoman, wife and mother, and she is also the current president of Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative. Just like in her studio, she encourages parents and children to get involved in the project for historic downtown Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative is a non-profit organization, and its goal is to preserve and endorse Fredericksburg's historical downtown through partnerships that support the community. An initiative like this not only supports and promotes the beauty of Fredericksburg, but it also supports local businesses like Ponshop.
The Main Street Initiative focuses on improving community pride and has been adopted in 44 states and more than 2,200 communities across the country. In June of 2013, Fredericksburg was selected as one of two Main Street Virginia communities.
"Everything we do is community orientated," Pons said. "What Main Street programs do is restore pride in a community."
Members of Fredericksburg's community are invited to take part in The Main Street Initiative. Volunteering is a great way to support the event and the community, and it is also a way to encourage families to come together for a common cause.
"Our organization works because of volunteers," Pons said. "There are many different levels of volunteering, and sometimes we just need help with an event. We are family friendly and geared towards the health of a community."
Scarlett's interest in architecture and her love for art make her a great asset for the Main Street Initiative, and she encourages community members to visit Fredericksburg's Main Street website for more information on how to get involved.
Visit FredericksburgMainStreet.org to read Fredericksburg's Vision Statement, learn more about their goals and future projects, and how to contact those involved in the initiative.