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.
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.
At the turn of the 20th century, the plantation that was to become Frightmare Manor was just a regular estate, owned by seemingly upstanding citizen Jeremiah Lexer. Lexer, however, turned out to be one of America's earliest and Tenessee's most prolific serial killer. More than 30 corpses were unearthed throughout the property and in its marshy backwoods--and even after Lexer took his own life, mysterious deaths continued to plague the plantation.
Nowadays, Frightmare Manor draws on this horrifying history with haunted houses recently featured in Hauntworld the Magazine and named the #1 Haunted Attraction in Eastern Tennessee by Knoxville News Media. The hair-raising events sprawl across 4.5 acres that house four attractions, including the mansion and its wooded grounds. As visitors explore, spooky special effects and actors create thrills scarier than many haunted houses' ghost-shaped wall decals.
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.
Fine Arts Connection provides artistic entrepreneurs of all ages and skill levels with the means to create. Instructor Yichen Reneau enlivens brushstrokers with more than 15 years of teaching experience and prodigious skill in an array of styles and media. The 90-minute introductory drawing course inserts biology-class notebook doodlers into a different classroom to work on fundamentals such as shadow shading, how to make thumbs not look weird, and recruiting fruit models. Meanwhile, the two-hour Chinese brush painting class lets students ink Chinese characters with special brushes on provided rice paper, upon which they'll delicately depict the characters for truth, beauty, and Marilyn Monroe sunbathing on a duvet made of Campbell's soup cans.