Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the fine arts, co-owners, operators, and artists Chriss W. Hardy and Christopher Hardy are the beating heart of The Painted Room. Together—and with a team of highly specialized painters—the two execute a multitude of projects, ranging from specialty faux finishes to murals of Abraham Lincoln sporting the flat-top 'fro he kept hidden under his stovepipe hat. At their studio, the artists teach oil-painting classes suited for beginners, creating a casual environment where students learn to wield oil paints while sipping on brought-along bottles of wine.
The pottery lining the shelves inside Mighty Mud almost looks like it could have come from an archaeological excavation. With glaze jobs that call to shabby-chic sensibilities or enhance they clay’s hand-worked grooves, each work would be at home either on a windowsill or in a museum. The fun begins when it comes time to make these pieces. Mighty Mud offers classes that teach students how to throw clay, operate a pottery wheel, and build figures by hand. Kids even get their own set of classes catered just to them, and group raku firings happen once a month when the firing process is turned into a group BYOB activity.
Red poppies bloom on an orange-and-yellow backdrop. A small blue tent sits in the middle of a green clearing at dusk. These are just a couple of the paintings that students at Uptown Art can re-create on their own canvases in hands-on sessions led by skilled artists. At 12 locations, the BYOB art haven invites pupils of any artistic skill level to spend an evening in one of its studios, sipping their own beverages and making friends with one another or with particularly personable paintbrushes. In addition to classes, Uptown Art offers up its space for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and corporate events.
When students take a spin class at Any Body Fitness, they know they’re pedaling atop sleek, professional-grade cycles. That’s because the staff at Any Body Fitness contains more than just certified spin instructors; in fact, staffers’ primary task is to scout out and sell top-shelf cardio, strength, and aerobic equipment. The employees outfit everything from modest home gyms to sprawling commercial wellness centers with ellipticals, treadmills, and weightlifting benches. So, when they select the stationary bikes that instructors use to punch up spinners’ heart rates, they do so with a solid understanding of the industry. Personal trainers, nutritionists, and active-lifestyle mentors act as equally knowledgeable resources for clients seeking wellness help outside of spin class.
Rent2Ride outfits trail-trekkers and waterborne adventurers with the roaring engines of Honda Rancher ATVs and sleek, speedy hulls of personal watercraft. Latter-day conquistadors saddle up to off-road vehicles decked out with low centers of gravity for easy control, and electric power steering for better traction over stubborn wheel ruts or up the neighbor's spiral staircase. Sea-Doo and Yamaha wave-runners zip and plow through crystal waters and choppy surf alike with ferocious horsepower and responsive handling. Rent2Ride can cart their motorcrafts to clients' locations for an additional fee.