Mint Hill, NC, January 26, 2017 – For local eleven-year-old Elijah Kell Cervantes, the best and most unusual gift
under the tree this past Christmas was one he earned for himself; an official business license. Eli is an aspiring
artist-turned-entrepreneur who has spent the past 18 months learning and honing his skills with the art of kilnformed glasswork.
Today, his talent, artistic passion, and entrepreneurial spirit have culminated in Atten Studio Glassworks, LLC, aptly named by Eli because he started creating his art ‘at ten’ years old. “As soon as I started working with glass, I was hooked. I love creating funky and colorful designs, and I love to build and use tools, so putting all of that together to make glass art is just really awesome,” says Eli, who uses his first and middle names, Elijah Kell, as his official artist identity. “Plus, I have the best teacher in the whole wide world and
she makes it fun to keep learning and trying new things.”
Eli’s artistic journey first began with painting lessons from local artist and former public school art teacher, Susan Griffin, in the spring of 2015. By that summer, Eli received his first introduction to using glass as an artistic medium, and he hasn’t stopped creating since. As a talented and accomplished artist herself, Griffin has taken Eli under her wing and continues to work with him on a regular basis. “We are a lot like partners now because he teaches me almost as much as I teach him,” Griffin says. “He is full of curiosity and ideas, so I always have to stay two steps ahead of him!” she laughs. “Eli has a real gift for art and design, it just comes naturally to him, and it’s exciting to see that kind of raw talent in such a young person.”
Over the past year and a half, Eli has developed several series of glass art creations, each collection inspired by his love of nature and places like coral reefs and rainforests. He has participated in many art festivals and events in and around the Charlotte area, selling hundreds of his art pieces and even winning an award at the Prism of Fine Arts Juried Exhibition during the spring Art Kaleidoscope in Waxhaw.
With every art event and every happy customer,
Eli’s creative passion and business ideas continued to grow. He established a website and reinvested almost 100% of his sales into more glass supplies, tools of the trade, and even his own small kiln. He also joined the Charlotte Art League Gallery in Historic South End where he is a member and the gallery’s youngest selling artist.
Early last year, Eli set out to find a local home for his art and inquired about renting space at HomeStyles Gallery in downtown Mint Hill. He brought samples of his work to the boutique and met with the owners, who enthusiastically welcomed him as a shop vendor.
Now, after a year of learning, creating and successfully selling his art, Eli decided to invest his earnings into the
creation of an official business. He launched Atten Studio Glassworks, LLC in December 2016 and went right to
work on his plans to increase his retail space and expand the variety of his nature-inspired artwork, including a
special art piece created each month to support The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit whose efforts protect and preserve wildlife areas in North Carolina and around the world.
To celebrate his new business venture and expanded retail space, Elijah Kell is hosting a “grand reopening” of Atten Studio Glassworks at HomeStyles Gallery on Saturday, February 4, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. He looks forward to sharing his artistic inspirations and design techniques, and hopes visitors will stop by to see his work and enjoy some light refreshments. HomeStyles Gallery is located at 11237 Lawyers Road in Mint Hill.
Elijah Kell Cervantes is a 6th grader at Piedmont Middle School in Union County. When he’s not at school or busy
creating art, he enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and participating in activities at his church. Eli lives in Mint Hill with his parents and two brothers.
To learn more about Elijah Kell and Atten Studio Glassworks, please visit www.attenstudio.com.