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E-98 Art Studio & Gallery lets art students be the 'boss'

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
email / twitter
Posted 1/21/23

At E-98 Art Studio & Gallery, 5819 Rome-Taberg Road, students aren’t told what project to make or what their passion should be – they are the boss of their own creativity...

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E-98 Art Studio & Gallery lets art students be the 'boss'


ROME — At E-98 Art Studio & Gallery, 5819 Rome-Taberg Road, students aren’t told what project to make or what their passion should be – they are the boss of their own creativity and what they learn next on their artistic adventure.

Steve Snegon, a third-generation artist, opened the business with his fiancee', Administrative Director Moria Egan, about seven months ago at their west Rome location, neighboring Walmart. The housing market brought the couple from New Jersey to Rome to find a new home and start their business, which is how the art studio got its name. 

"Exit 98 was from where we were in New Jersey, so it pays homage to home and it was our way of taking a little piece of New Jersey with us — here," Moria explained.

E-98 Art Studio & Gallery teaches a variety of art classes for ages 5- plus, including acrylic painting, watercolors, comic book drawing, anatomy, sculpture, charcoal drawing, animation and more. The gallery also will show pieces by local artists to help them sell their works.

"Once we fill up our schedule, we hope to open up even more classes," Moria said. "We even provide a free two-hour trial so artists can ‘test the waters’ and see what they’re really interested in doing."

At E-98 Art Studio, Steve and assistant instructor Caitlin Carlo provide professional art instruction from beginners to the most advanced students around. Steve has been teaching Studio Art for more than 20 years. He also is a professional tattoo artist and commission muralist.

"Whether you're 5 or 99, we here at E-98 can help you reach your artistic goals," said Steve. "We have age-appropriate classes for children, teens, and adults. Each student is provided with a technique-based curriculum that is developed based on their needs and interests as an artist at their own pace and skill level. If our students come to us and say, 'I want to learn A, B and C,' then that's what we work on. No two students are alike, so they shouldn't necessarily be taught the same way."

Steve grew up watching his grandfather and father create and teach art. His grandfather was an accomplished oil painter. His father was a sign maker professionally, but he has also worked primarily in photorealism, a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic media, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium.

The owner/instructor said his father operated his own art studio for several years, a business he took over back in New Jersey about 10 years ago. Moria would join him five years later.

"I would take my Norman Rockwell book, which I still have and use as a teaching tool to this day, into my dad's shop when I was 7-years-old, teaching myself" how to paint and draw, Steve recalled. "So today, it's my job to dump my brain on you, the art student. I am still a student perfecting my craft, yet this is all I know."

Steve said he sold his first piece of art at the age of 13. He began working in his father's shop when he was fresh out of high school, about 20 years ago.

As for making the decision to move to Rome, "After running from here and there for so many years, we finally wanted to settle down," said Steve.

Moria said, "My sister-in-law was already living here, so she encouraged us to come and to be closer to family."

So far, Steve said he's enjoyed the artistic inspiration of his new surroundings, from mountains to forests and lakes — much different from the beaches of the Jersey Shore.

"It's very Rockwell-esque," Steve quipped, also comparing the Adirondacks and natural landscapes of Central New York to paintings created by one of his favorite artists and instructors — Bob Ross.

Assistant Instructor Caitlin Carlo grew up locally and has been working toward her state teaching certification. She attended Mohawk Valley Community College, and received her degree in studio art from SUNY Plattsburgh.

"I'm clawing my way toward becoming a certified teacher," Carlo said. "Back in March, I saw this ad about a local art studio on social media looking for an assistant instructor, and I thought it could be a great teaching opportunity. And here I am."

Specializing in drawing, painting and photography, Carlo describes herself as a "Jill of all trades," and said she enjoys working with the younger students.

As for their teaching style, Steve said, "Everybody does something different — we walk around and 'pinball' to each student, guiding them as they go."

Especially allowing kids to choose what art medium or project they'd like to work on is what helps keep students engaged, Moria said.

"Kids get to choose and then they're more passionate about what they're doing, and want to learn," she said.

Steve said, "It's important to let them be the boss and run the show, so the work is 100% theirs. I just want to help them get better. I've seen students struggle with something, like painting clouds, for 2-3 weeks and then the light bulb goes on, and that's such a great moment. I'm just steering them."

When not in their art studio and gallery on Rome-Taberg Road, Steve and Moria also team up to present special workshops hosted by Jervis Public Library, 613 N. Washington St. They've taught children and adults in acrylic painting, comic book drawing, and most recently, charcoal drawing.

"The library is like a crash course, where you get a taste of what we're working on," Steve said. "Here at the studio, it's more technique based. I don't care if you're working on the same painting for six weeks or six months, it's about getting the end result you hope to achieve."

To find a list of courses and classes offered at E-98 Art Studio & Gallery, special workshops and paint-and-sips, or to register, check out their website at, or call for more information at 315-240-3048. E-98 is also on Facebook and Instagram. To find out when they'll offer their next workshop at the library, check out the Jervis events calendar.


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