Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Studio Von
The live event painter earned first place in a new voting category: Alternative Entertainment.
After 30 years as an architectural illustrator, Keith Hasenbalg—the artist behind Studio Von—took his easel to the aisle.
“The architects got software; they didn’t need artists [to create renderings] anymore,” Hasenbalg recalls. As his daughter was planning her wedding, she noticed a posting on an online message board asking if anyone knew of a live event painter for their own wedding. “That was the beginning,” he says.
Since that moment some 10 years ago, he’s painted everything from first looks to first dances. In the process, he’s become a staple for engaged couples around Central Ohio and beyond. And with each painting taking hours at the ceremony and months afterward to complete, there’s little wonder why.
“I want to make this whole thing [the painting] a believable story,” Hasenbalg explains of his craft. “Somebody had mentioned in one of my comments, why did I have this little part of a hand with a part of a violin sticking out? … [It’s because] it tells a story,” he says.
Hasenbalg offers three sizes for his traditional paintings—ranging from 11-by-14 to 30-by-24 inches—but also is open to working with couples on more budget-friendly options, like smaller canvases or paintings made only from picture references, rather than live scenes.
“I’ve tried to make it so that everybody is able to have an actual piece of art,” he says.