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Embarking on an Art-Venture

Former Suffolk Public Schools art teacher Stephanie Gwaltney is offering an art education class for students at her new studio, Art-Ventures.

Gwaltney opened her new studio on July 1. She taught for Suffolk Public Schools for 15 years, including being the International Baccalaureate art teacher at King’s Fork High School before resigning to make a new start.

“I am so thankful for how supportive the community has been,” said Gwaltney. “They have been so resourceful and encouraging and supportive. So many parents have volunteered, donated, and spread the word. I am indebted to those families who lifted this.”

The Art-Ventures Art Education will meet once a week starting Sept. 8 and running through May 26. Children ages 7 to 11 will meet on Mondays, ages 12 to 14 on Tuesdays, and ages 15 to 18 on Wednesdays. Three separate times are available at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., to accommodate the various school schedules due to COVID-19.

“The maximum class size will be six,” said Gwaltney. “That way, we can social distance and follow protocols. Safety is number one, especially with art, but fun is number two.”

The students in the Art-Venture classes will work hands-on with fine arts as well as study art history and culture.

“The summer classes have more make-and-take type of crafts, where this will be higher-quality projects,” said Gwaltney.

Art-Ventures has many more classes to offer, with even more on the way. One-on-one lessons, specialty workshops and summer camps are some of the first classes available. According to Gwaltney, she is open to ideas from the community.

“I don’t want to stay in just one type of art,” said Gwaltney. “I want to be able to explore other creative outlets and media. We all have different personalities and ways of creating, so we are not competing; we just have a different spin on things.”

Gwaltney has thrown around ideas for the future, including a mom’s art class, stained glass, drum circles, dancing and outdoor painting sessions.

“I am looking forward to having regulars,” said Gwaltney. “It’s more of a connected rapport with clients that can cultivate and grow. This is not only about growing art development but growing community and relationships. I feel like that’s why we exist. We can do art, but I want to share life, because we are all in this together.”

To register for classes or learn more, visit artventuresllc.com.