In my years living in and around the greater Austin area, I’ve had the chance of taking a few artsy classes like sewing, sculpting, leather working and digital print making. It’s always a great reason to get out of the house, get your hands a little dirty and learn a few new skills in the process.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to head over to The Art Garage in southwest Austin, where owner and resident art teacher Kelley Emmert is busy teaching classes from glass fusion to canvas painting, from mosaics to ceramic painting. Tucked away in a quaint little corner of a commercial park off 290, you can drop by to sign up for classes and art camps, or just walk-in and work on your own projects with the help of the experienced art staff on hand.
A Focus on Art Education
Taking a look around the colorful studio, it’s easy to see the passion and experience that goes into teaching art to all ages. Before launching her business and opening the studio from her own garage more than 3 years ago, Kelly was an art teacher in a Florida public school. She moved to Texas to start a family, planting her roots in Austin and raising her kids here. The artistic spirit never left Kelly and it wasn’t long until she started giving private art lessons out of her home. The idea to open up an art studio started to materialize when a friend of hers mentioned that she should consider teaching an art camp.
“We offer something very different, I think. Most folks have been to a painting or pottery studio and you can find those sprinkled throughout the area. We try to approach everything from an educational point of view, so that you never come in and it’s just like ‘Here, make something!’, we’re always trying new ways of doing things.”
You can bring your own ideas and projects in the studio, where Kelly and her art assistants will be glad to help you take your work to the next level. Their enthusiasm is contagious and pretty soon you might find yourself interested in art techniques you never knew existed. Glass fusing is one class you might consider adding to the list of classes to take. You can learn how to cut, shape and melt all colors of glass into objects like earrings, lampshades and bowls. Pretty and functional!
Fun for All Ages
What’s great about The Art Garage is their focus on the student, with an emphasis on classes for kids, teens and adults. If your little one has been scribbling on walls and using your lipstick as a paintbrush, sign them up for a kids Drawing and Painting class (ages 6 and up) for a productive solution to pulling out your hair. Creative tendencies usually show up early in life but a person has to be stimulated to grow an interest in art, so check often for updated classes and art camps.
Some of the upcoming classes to watch for this fall are the Saturday camps for kids where you can drop off your little ones for the afternoon and allow them to get creative by making a few gifts just in time for mom and dad to wrap up some early Christmas shopping. And what’s better than a homemade gift, anyway?
There is also plenty of space in the studio for you. Classes are offered weekly and take 9 weeks to complete, giving you time to finish a myriad of projects to take home. You can even make a night out of it! Plan a party at the studio and bring your friends with a few snacks and a drink for a personalized art experience you won’t forget.
Open 7 days a week and always accepting new students, The Art Garage is a great place for beginners, intermediate artists and masters alike.
The Art Garage (map)
11190 Circle Drive, Suite 202
Austin, TX 78736
Sunday & Monday : Noon – 6 pm
Tues, Weds, Thurs: 11 am – 7 pm
Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm