For nearly 85 years, the South County Art Association has fostered the local arts community with exhibitions and classes guided by talented craftspeople. During a 2.5-hour bookmaking class, pupils choose from four different bookbinding styles taught by resident page-master Catherine Flores, making beautiful crane-shaped tomes in an origami day class or taking cues from the envelope-book course to fashion a pocketed book for holding secrets, treasures, or the key to your rock collection's safety-deposit box. An eight-fold accordion-book class leaves students with a handsome, folded mini album that functions like a traditionally bound book, and a non-adhesive book lesson teaches the delicate arts of bookmanship, including pamphlet stitching and the traditional Japanese side stab. Although class times vary, for those that take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., patrons are invited to bring along a beverage of their choosing, and enjoy in a warm and convivial atmosphere.
Since the days of President Lincoln, Providence Picture Frame’s expert artisans have been assembling wood, metal, glass, and mats into stunning artwork displays. Staff usher in homeless pictures of all sizes, eager to measure, examine, and fit them with customized metaphorical mansions. Pricing for custom framing varies based on size, style, and materials used, starting at $50, with premade frames starting as low as $25 for an 11" x 14" frame. All work is performed on-site by highly experienced craftspeople and designers, who work with customers to provide options that fit with most budgets, like a carpenter waiting to whittle down square pegs until they fit into round holes.
Longtime resident of northeastern Connecticut, Carly Martin founded Silver Circle in 2008 with the belief that art is the glue that keeps communities together, granting local artists a space to exhibit their masterworks, hosting classes for aspiring Picassos to hone their craft, and providing a venue for jewelry makers to sell their crafts. The original pieces in Martin's gallery––which have included works by Jean-Paul Jacquet and George Chaplin––rotate on a four- to six-week schedule, and featured exhibits can be viewed in the main hall every Tuesday through Sunday, or through an enchanted mirror on Monday. Rather than having a decorative mindset while choosing the pieces for the gallery, Martin takes a more spontaneous approach, telling the Putnam Villager, “We don't concern ourselves with 'matching'... If a piece of artwork speaks to us, it can change our whole space and add energy and interest in unexpected ways. Art truly breathes life into a home.”
With a dedication to each individual and family, the seasoned instructors at The Dance Factory teach students of any age a variety of dance styles, ranging from ballet and acrobatics to jazz and hip-hop. Preschool- and kindergarten-age classes are also available for budding dancers. Kids can express themselves through free-form choreography in various dance styles, or take a more structured approach through the French traditions taught in ballet sessions. Hip-hop and modern/contemporary classes equip older children and adults with the steps to commandeer any dance floor or spontaneous public musical number, and students looking for more heart-pumping excitement can also bust moves in dance-inspired Zumba fitness classes. Classes meet once a week Monday?Saturday.
Hunakai Studio of Fine Art combines the study of past masters with plenty of hands-on art-making experience for students of all ages. Instructors teach students to sculpt in clay, paint and draw, or generate digital images with 3D design programs and tablets. They lead studies into the iconic images of Renaissance painters, the drawings of famed cartoonists, and the murals of prolific graffiti artists. They do this all while keeping class sizes small, with no more than eight students per instructor. This lets the teachers customize lessons to students' needs, helping pupils progress at their own pace instead of racing to keep up with that overachiever Suzy Collins.
Luke Adams's childhood talent for drawing spurred him toward an education in glasswork at the Massachusetts College of Art, where he honed his technique under artists from all over the country. Today, Luke molds his molten medium into colorful, one-of-a-kind starfish suncatchers, jewelry, and paperweights. Through jewelry-making and glassblowing classes, his studio spreads a passion for glass-oriented artistry, teaching students to shear and assemble artful shards, molding them into versatile, translucent building blocks similar to the kind used to by Gustave Eiffel to construct an ice-cube model of his infamous tower.