GYPSUM -Amy Pates doesn't consider herself to be an artist, but The Art Center near Costco in Gypsum, is her masterpiece in the making.
"I am not an artist. I am a wannabe. But I have a huge appreciation for the arts," said Pates. When she moved to Eagle County seven years ago from Boulder, she noticed there was no art center for children or adults.
"When I moved here I thought this is something the community could use," said Pates. "But our busy lives got in the way so it never came to fruition. It is something I have always wanted to do."
Now Pates is putting the final touches on her art center, which opened on Oct. 19.
"We have been so excited and it is amazing how excited the community is," said Pates.
Beth Nestlerode, a valley local, has been looking for an art outlet and an instructor in the valley for years.
"I am thrilled to have it in the valley," said Nestlerode. Nestlerode is now taking oil painting lessons at The Art Center. "My teacher is wonderful and teaching me everything I want to know."
The Art Center has classes for kids, adults, amateurs and professionals. Among its 15 regular classes are scrapbooking, ceramics, painting, acting and pilates.
Special workshops will be available throughout the year, including the Thanksgiving Clay Project workshops on Nov. 14 and Nov. 21. Pates also hopes to add music, graphic design, knitting classes, baking and jewelry-making classes.
The center also has an art shop opening soon and studios available for rent.
"I can go over and paint and keep my supplies there and make a mess and not make a mess in our house. It is wonderful," said Nestlerode.
Pates is trying to make everything- art supplies, studio rentals and classes- affordable. Classes are about $20 for an hour-and-a-half session.
"We do not want anyone to miss a class because money is an issue," said Pates.
• Art Bar: Designed by Brian Hall, A smorgasbord of recyclable and recycled materials offered at your finger tips. The Art Bar is designed to inspire free creative exploration.
Open daily from 9 a.m., drop-in, sit down and let your creative juices flow. The Art Bar is supervised as an open studio without formal instruction. Open for all ages. All children under the age of 6 years old must be accompanied and supervised by a caregiver.
Cost: $15 for a 60-minute session
• Acting Out: Theater and acting classes with Emma Parsons. Imaginations run free and creativity is encouraged in these theater classes to bring out the little actor in your child. Parsons has 12 years of professional theater experience and these workshops focus on performance and acting skills, character development, fluency of reading skills, teamwork, confidence creativity and fun. Each class session will include theater games, play reading sessions, character work, performance skills and crafts and creativity.
Cost: $180 for a 9-week session ( Oct. 26 - Dec. 15)
Ages: 8 to 12 years old
Time: Mondays from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
• Fun With Clay, with Christie Abel. Intro to Ceramics: Handbuilding 101 - squishy and gooey - students will learn the basics of clay and how to create works of art using traditional hand building methods including pinch, coil and slab. Various surface design techniques as well as glazing and firing will also be a part of this experience. Create functional and non-functional works of art including pinch pots, mugs, vases, sculptures and 3D clay postcards.
Cost: $20/class, material fee $2
Ages: 6 to 14 years old
Time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Space is limited
• Mommy and Me Classes, with Nicole von Tempske. Art Discovery and Creative Play Class: Your child will discover art hands on through, painting and sculpture as well as exploring various art activities to spark their creative senses. This is a perfect way for a child to explore many art materials, foster creative skills and have the freedom to get messy, all in a playful and nurturing environment.
Cost: $100 for a five-week session (Nov. 12- Dec. 17)
Ages: 12 months to 3 years old with a parent/caregiver
Time: Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
• Pilates for Mommy and Me, with Tamar Cordover: Moms, get your children involved in healthy body movement and get a work out at the same time. This Pilates program will enhance stretching and strengthening for both you and your child. All abilities welcome.
Cost: $80 for a 4 week session once a week or $140 for a four week session twice a week (Nov. 10 - Dec. 3)
Ages: Prenatal to three years old and moms
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
• Intro to Photography, with Christie Abel: Learn what it takes to make a great photo. Students will learn basic composition, the functions of the camera controls and how they affect the appearance of photos. We will also create sun prints using photo sensitive paper and natural sunlight. Call for details
• Landscape Painting, an oil-painting class with Mio Cerkovic. Paint the majestic landscapes of the Vail Valley. The instructor will demonstrate his painting techniques, painting design concepts, materials and preparation. Daily lecture and demonstrations will offer students an in-depth look at the artist's thought process and the technical applications needed to become proficient in Landscape painting. Weather permitting, instruction will take place outdoors at spectacular locations.
Cost : $240 for a three week session (10 percent discount for two or more sessions)
Session II: Nov. 9 - Nov. 27
Session III: Nov. 27 - Dec. 21
Time: Monday and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Pre-requisites: A drawing class
Visit www.theartctr.com to view more of the classes offered