Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Studio Von

Studio Von wins in the Alternative Entertainment category for the second year

Nicholas Youngblood
A ceremony painting by Studio Von

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but readers have decided a painting is worth a lifetime of memories. That’s why Keith Hasenbalg’s business, Studio Von, paints scenes from dozens of weddings each year.

Keith Hasenbalg of Studio Von poses with a painting he made.

After automation and outsourcing pushed Hasenbalg out of his career in architectural illustration, he turned to murals and then wedding paintings beginning in 2010. He started out doing a few each year, but is now up to 35 in 2021, with bookings through 2023.

“Even after a year, a lot of people have not even looked at their videos or their photos. This [painting] is on their wall—they can talk about it, everybody gets to see it, it’s not hidden away in a drawer,” Hasenbalg says. “Plus, it's very personal—that it's hand painted—and they get to hand that down through their family as an actual piece of art.”

A painting by Studio Von

Although a framed rendering of a special moment is a great memento unto itself, it isn’t all Studio Von offers; the act of painting a scene is entertainment in itself. Hasenbalg uses a photo reference from a key moment the couple chooses—be it the first kiss, the walk down the aisle or the first dance—and begins to recreate it in quick-drying paint in front of guests during the reception. Attendees can watch the process, ask questions and even add a few strokes of their own.

After the event, Hasenbalg takes the painting home and finishes it, a process that takes around six months. He works with couples throughout to ensure they’re happy with the final product and offers a variety of sizes to fit any budget.