Twenty years ago I moved from Philadelphia to 35 miles north, to the beautiful town of Perkasie, and for twenty years now I've had a dream of opening an art center for the town and the surrounding area of Upper Bucks County.
Last month the perfect space opened up, and the time was right, and so beginning this September, 7th Street Studios will be offering classes on drawing and painting by myself and other instructors. Also, there will be some individual, semi-partitioned studio spaces as well as a large members area with a variety of visually interesting subjects including plaster cast sculptures.
I'll be teaching drawing and oil painting, and other teachers will offer watercolor and pastel classes. In addition, weekly life drawing sessions and a "Copy the Masters" club, monthly group critiques and a film club will all help to foster a love of the visual arts for the community.
I've had 35 years of experience teaching in many different settings such as adult evening schools, and private and public art centers. I've honed my teaching skills as well as learned what an art center needs. The large and gorgeous 3000 square foot second floor space will be the perfect setting for Seventh Street Studios. The teaching program will be run with high organization, and the teachers will be experienced and great communicators.
I think people are often quite afraid to take their first art class as an adult, so my approach is to express firm belief that they can master many artistic skills if they use patience and perserverance. I value a supportive atmosphere over anything that feels intimidating.
The individual studio spaces will offset some of the cost of running the center.
To get off to a great start, 7th Street Studios needs little in the way of prepping the walls and floors, but it does need wooden easels, taborets or tall tables for holding palettes, folding chairs, shelving, a display cabinet for selling art supplies, folding tables, a desk and file cabinet, plaster cast sculptures, a very long curtain for occasionally dividing the space, a digital projector for artist talks, a large trash can and a mini-fridge, and signage. There are small things needed too, specifically art magazine subscriptions, an umbrella stand and coatrack, and artist lighting (150 watt daylight bulbs, lamps and tripods).
7th Street Studios will be a great asset to the area, and I'm so grateful for any amount you can give to help it get off the ground.
Risks and challenges
There are some risks and challenges to opening an art center. I've seen most art centers struggle to attract enough students for their classes, and I'm prepared to puts lots of time and money towards advertising. Sectioning off a large area for individual studio spaces will help offset some of the financial risks involved.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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