nj, little silver, muse, liz evanko buchananLiz Evanko Buchanan in the home of her new business, Muse Art Studio. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


In a light-filled space above a pizzeria at the heart of Little Silver, a borough woman has found the answer to her entrepreneurial yearnings.

495 prospect ave., little silver, nj Muse offers classes in its oddly shaped rooms above Gianni’s Pizza, at 495 Prospect Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Up a flight of stairs above Gianni’s Pizza, at Church Street and Prospect Avenue, Liz Evanko Buchanan opened Muse Art Studio last month.

A longtime art teacher at a Middlesex County high school, Evanko Buchanan said finding the space was the answer to her dreams. She’d been shopping for place in which to open a studio, her first-ever try at running her own business. But every spot she checked out was missing something essential, she said.

In addition to adequate space and running water, “I needed access to natural light,” she told redbankgreen this week. “This space has lots of natural light.”

With light flowing in on three sides, the studio’s quirky, irregularly-shaped rooms foster an air of intimacy and creativity, she said.

They’re also centrally situated in the heart of the borough’s tidy little business district, and block away from the Markham Place School, where some of her new clients are students.

“Kids are walking right over her for classes after school,” she said.

A bonus for the working mom: two of Evanko Buchanan’s three children attend borough schools; the third is a toddler.

Muse offers small-class art instruction for kids, teens and adults in drawing, painting, collage and more. Each six-week session will conclude with an exhibit of the students’ creations, she said.

“I find it very important that students go through the critique process,” she said. “They need to be able to talk about their work, and it’s good for their self-esteem.”

An adult class on the relationship between color and psychology is planned, she said.

Evanko Buchanan has set aside a studio in the space for her own work, which includes commissioned portraits of pets as well as people.

The building changed hands last May when it was acquired by 495 Prospect LLC for $995,000, according to Monmouth County records. Andrew Datre, whose family owns Gianni’s, is identified in business filings as the LLC’s principal.