Butterfly House Closing, Gallery to Have New 'SMart' Artist Soon; L.A. Fitness on Stone Mountain Hwy Open

'What's New in Business' is an ongoing feature of business news in Stone Mountain and Lithonia.

Last Day for the Butterfly House in Stone Mountain Village

Susan Ryles, Main Street Stone Mountain and Downtown Development Authority executive director, has decided to close her Butterfly House gallery in Stone Mountain Village.

Today (Monday, Dec. 31) is its last day.

In a letter addressed to artist friends and shared with Patch, Ryles' wrote:

After great internal struggle and consideration, I will be closing Butterfly House Studio in Stone Mountain Village at its current location on East Mountain Street effective December 31, 2012.

She goes on to write:

Most of you know, I took on a new job in July of 2012 as the Executive Director for Main Street Stone Mountain and the Downtown Development Authority. With this change I came out of the SMart Inc., Arts Incubator Program here in the Village and hired my good friend and fellow artist, Jeff Prisant to run things at the gallery/studio for me. He has done a great job but unfortunately the sales are not enough to meet the expenses of the gallery/studio.

(SMart Inc., which Ryles referred to above, is an incubator program that selected artists can participate in for two years, according to the program's website. The artists operate their studios for low-cost rent; the city subsidizes the artists' business, taking part of their sales income in return. Selected artists are required to attend certain classes, workshops, etc.)

Over the summer, Ryles became the first SMart graduate.

Another SMart Inc. artist will take over the space February 1:

That means that the gallery and studio space will continue to be there and open at 5347 East Mountain Street but not under my ownership and direction as Butterfly House. With that said, the SMart Inc. managers would very much like for the gallery to have a seamless transition and would like to keep all of the artists currently being represented by me/Butterfly House in place.

Ryles remains optimistic about the future, she wrote:

We have great potential to become a wonderful little arts destination and I sincerely hope you will choose to continue to be a part of the renaissance of Stone Mountain Village by sharing your art here.

Check back for details on the new artist moving into the space.

L.A. Fitness is now open on Stone Mountain Highway

The facility was constructed after the old shuttered Kroger at East Park Place was torn down. Patch got word that the Bally's at 5370 Hwy 78, which L.A. Fitness bought out, is now closed.

There is another L.A. Fitness nearly completed at Covington Highway and Panola Road. It is expected to open during the latter part of the first quarter of 2013, a company rep has said.



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