Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Look Studios & Gallery’s team tutors all levels of students in realistic brush strokes and drawing techniques during classes focused on accurately depicting the human form. By discouraging participants from copying each other or hiring an art student intern to paint for them, the staff nurtures creativity and allows it to bloom during intimate BYOB classes. Here, they guide students through the basics to interpret a preselected image using provided materials. In addition to teaching portrait and human figure classes, owner Juliet Lockwood holds summer retreats for artists who paint seascape-inspired pieces during a one- to two-week stay in a Gloucester cottage.
From two locations, SuperMusic's passionate instructors corral fledgling musicians and instill a passion for music, making the learning process fun and engaging. The school also offers performance opportunities through its Perform program, encouraging students to showcase their skills during a musical at the end of every year and a short film each spring.
Create Studios' hands-on crafting classes nurture students' inner artist while teaching skills that can be used to replicate projects at home. Owner and instructor Tanya Ruffin draws from her master's degree in art history and BFA in fine arts to helps students unwind and create within an informal studio. All classes are designated as "make and partake," allowing students to bring in any food and drinks they'd like, including bottles of wine, snacks, or entire flash-fried buffaloes.
Each two- to three-hour class brings home and body accessories to life, turning provided materials into everything from a stained-glass mosaic to steampunk-style jewelry. Wine glasses are a particularly popular medium; students learn to paint them with enamel or etch them with designs. Another popular option is Pop Art Your Pet. During this class, students create four panes of vivid, pop art colors that depict their pet with an Andy Warhol flare.
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.
At Work/Shop, art and commerce hold hands and skip across a sunny, flower-filled meadow. Work/Shop's local and national instructors labor with love, offering classes to students of all skill levels that cover how to draw from live models, pen one's thoughts, and throw clay pots through windows with gusto. Art aficionados can sharpen their scrutiny with critique nights, art-appreciation classes, and quarterly exhibitions. Members renew their creative vigor with seven-day access to the studio, discounts on materials, and ample storage space. On the shop side of the studio, artists and guests can browse through work created on-site and support Work/Shop's endeavors by purchasing a piece.