Artist Joanne Hunter opened The Art Garden as a place where children and adults could engage their creative minds and escape the clutches of modern technology, such as video games or iPods set on bear traps. She explained her goals to Meghan Kotowski at the Gwinnett Daily Post, saying, "I want kids away from controllers, cell phones, TV remotes. I want them to sit in conversation and use their imagination." Under her fun-loving guidance, people from all walks of life explore the art of painting and assemble themed projects using attic treasures, scrap metal, and other mixed media.
Hunter encourages self-expression during open studio sessions, weekly kids' classes, and group events such as birthday parties or girls' nights out. Hunter keeps works in progress on a brag wall, so-named for its incessant boasting about how it makes a perfect 90-degree angle with the floor.
Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. At each of seven Georgia locations, Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga-, martial-arts, and weight-loss-centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.
Splash into ART offers guided painting workshops for aspiring artists or casual paint-slingers of any and all skill levels. Whether you've been a paint-based hobbyist since receiving your first set of childhood watercolor paints or still believe that paint is rainbow juice, you'll find fun by burrowing into an evening of group painting. A skilled instructor guides students step-by-step through the process of recreating a featured painting, from vivid fall leaves and neutral tree landscapes to dragonflies, which symbolize the desire to win the lottery. All supplies are provided for students, from brushes and paint to paintbrushes. You'll leave with a painting to take home and display or lock in the attic for immortality purposes. The two-hour classes are all BYOB and snacks, so you can sip on libations and loosen up artistic inhibitions while gabbing with pals or meeting new people. You also have the option of upgrading to one of the three hour classes by paying the difference. Check the schedule for upcoming classes and featured paintings.