The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.
The women who own and operate Valentine Studios specialize in capturing each woman's unique beauty on both color and black-and-white film. Professional makeup artists enhance facial features before Meg Pasetta, a shutterbug with a graduate degree from Brooks Institute of Photography, snaps photos. The 2,000-square-foot studio has multiple backdrops, allowing Pasetta and her subjects to create images with different styles and moods.
Selling your entire book collection seems an odd first step when opening a bookstore, but that’s exactly what Vroman’s Bookstore founder Adam Clark did to fund his new venture in 1894. Now well into its second century of life, the shop is especially beloved for its author signings.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
For four years running, photographer Sean J. Mason—who has been capturing striking images of clients for more than 15 years—has won WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Award for his spontaneous, photojournalistic fine-art photography. In addition to documenting weddings and engagements, Mason captures striking portraits of clients, allowing them to recall fleeting moments in time or show up fading paintings of relatives in their Hall of Ancestors.