Creative Branch's studio is guaranteed to nurture intimate, hands-on classes: with table and counter space for only 14 people, an instructor is never out of reach as students work clay into spontaneous hand-built shapes or sleek wheel-thrown bowls and vases. Albino dinosaurs and rhinos glance shyly from shelves of bisqueware, waiting to bloom into vibrantly painted decorations in guests' hands and then undergo professional glazing and firing.
Clayworkers might find further inspiration in the resident artists' handmade wares. Available in the shop and online, the collection brims with rustic mugs, dangly earrings, and abstract conversation pieces, ideal for keeping dinner guests from noticing that half the plates are just newspaper torn into circles.
At Dream Catchers, creativity manifests in more than one way. Visitors to the studio can attend BYOB painting classes to unearth artistic impulses or peruse a boutique stocked with one-of-a-kind art and furniture crafted by local artists. A division of Ariel Clinical Services, Dream Catchers also provides supportive day programming to help adults with developmental disabilities learn new skills and unlock their creativity.
High-quality Paul Mitchell products restore and hydrate damaged strands during haircare sessions at Paul Mitchell the School Colorado Springs. Supervised by experienced instructors, stylists-in-training cultivate client relaxation with a 5-minute scalp massage before every haircut, which may also include a scrub with chemical-free salves such as wild-ginger-infused Awapuhi shampoo. The school also strives to give back to the community by hosting regular charity events, and a Green Team aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the 14,000-square-foot campus until it can fit a sleek pair of kitten heels.
At Splash!, art and fun go together like canvas and paint. For three hours on Thursday and Saturday evenings, guests sip wine and local beer, listen to music, and meet new people while a resident artist guides them step-by-step through their personal take on the evening's painting. To make sure the subject is always fresh and unique, each evening's painting changes on a daily basis. Depending on the night they attend, guests may create anything from a landscape or city skyline to a row of autumn trees or a Van Gogh still-life. The acrylic paint dries fast, too, allowing fledgling artists to take their masterpiece home at the end of the night or trade them with their new friends. And this sense of socialization carries into the studio's unstructured activities as well—open-studio time where artists gather together to create their own one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
An active Denver photographer since 1985, Bart Levy imparts hard-won wisdom to aspiring photographers in upbeat, three- or four-hour workshops. In these workshops, the seasoned shutterbug demystifies DSLR cameras, teaching pupils how to harness ISO speeds, manual settings, and flash settings to produce crisp, memorable images of lens caps. Students also learn how to compose visually striking snapshots and Levy will also demonstrate the differences in digital file formats, so acolytes can upload and share pictures without setting their web browsers on fire.
Certified personal trainer Mechelle Haflich is familiar with both the highs and lows of physical health. As a bodybuilder, she has won competitions focused on superior strength, and as a registered massage therapist, she has eased injured muscles back into action. Both titles have proven essential in planning FitBody Studio, where she takes a holistic view on wellness through fitness, massage, and spa services. Alongside a team of highly credentialed instructors, therapists, and aestheticians, Mechelle's team adjusts her programs to suit each client's ambitions, which range from losing inches to being able to deadlift a locomotive.
On the exercise side of the curriculum, private training sessions and group classes build endurance—Vinyasa yoga and kickboxing sessions round out the stair climbs and cardio drills of the Bleachers class, which takes place inside the Colorado College football stadium. To repair overworked deltoids, the studio's massage programs relax tendons and target injuries with a mix of modalities. After workouts sculpt bodies, FitBody Studio’s spa polishes them smooth with waxing services and custom facials.
In Donna Francis' case, it's hard to tell whether life imitates art or if it's the other way around. She draws inspiration from the beauty in nature that surrounds her, painting realistic details that range from the delicate petals of a blossoming flower to the soulful eyes of a loyal basset hound. For more than three decades she's honed her craft, and she passes on her tried-and-true techniques to students during classes on oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, as well as pastels and drawing.