It all began in ART class...with Scott's dad as the teacher. High school friends turned sweethearts, we started dating in November of our senior year. We dated for almost three years and married mid-way through college while majoring in Art Education. In 1989 we began doing freelance graphic design, murals and sign work out of our home in Springfield, IL. Early clients included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local schools and the Springfield Art Association. We moved back to our hometown of Canton, IL in the summer of 1989 after finishing our first master’s degrees at Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois at Springfield) majoring in Art and Children’s Literature. We continued to grow our business when we built a home near Canton Lake in the summer of 1993. Our home-based studio houses the corporate office as well as a painting/drawing studio and two separate sign and mural painting studios.
In the fall of 2009 we had a life-changing experience when we were introduced to Mr. Bill Cook of Bloomington, IN, for the first time. We were fortunate to win a commission to paint four large murals for installation on the south side of Fulton Square, the JCPenney building in Canton. The murals were completed in the summer of 2010 and dedicated in September. In 2011, the Cook group commissioned us again to create a 14’x20’ mural for the wall behind the boutique hotel built near the square in downtown Canton.
Due to the increased exposure through multiple news stories and interviews, our business grew to the point of needing more equipment and structure. Due to the higher demand for sign and mural services Snowman Studios became Snowman Studios Inc. as of January 1, 2011. Later in January of 2011 our company purchased it’s first vehicle, a 1992 Ford Hydraulic Lift Truck (Bucket Truck) so we could more easily install signs in high locations.
With business growing steadily we began looking for a downtown location to make the company more accessible to clients. In July of 2011 we purchased 35 South Main and began renovations on the one-story building. The front unit was completely gutted and redone to bring the building back to its early 20th century look. The new building, called Snowman Studios Gallery, opened on 11/11/11. The Canton Chamber of Commerce grand opening was held on Tuesday, November 15.
The business continued to grow with another major expansion occurring in 2015 and 2016. The corporation purchased two reindeer in August of 2015 as mascots for the company. The new venture expanded Snowman Studios Inc. into agricultural tourism with the goal being to bring more people into Fulton County to shop and explore. Snowman’s Reindeer Farm is a seasonal part of the company located at the corporate office, 25599 East Middle Lake Road. This site is home to reindeer pastures, a visitor’s center and a gift shop. The company also travels with the reindeer to various locations for short visits at the discretion of the owners. In 2016 and 2017 the company will be creating a mobile cocoa and coffee stand called The Flying Reindeer Café. Employees are hired to work at the gallery and/or the Reindeer Farm depending on what positions are available and what is needed at various times of the year.
Avis A. Oliver Dominski
Art Gallery • Art Gallery Services in Canton and Central Illinois • Snowman Studios Inc. Art Gallery Services
snowman studios INC.