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Let creativity blossom this summer

With its brightly painted storefront, the ArtReach studio on Bush Street is hard to miss. The organization has open hours Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings for people to explore their artistic side. (Republican Eagle photo by Michael Brun)

When the clouds come out, humidity becomes unbearable or the family is just looking for something different to do, starting an art project can be a nice change of pace during the dog days of summer.

For those without the space or materials to do painting or other crafts at home, ArtReach in Red Wing has just the spot to spend an hour or two being creative.

“There are a lot of us who love to do art but we don’t have a studio,” said Emily Nelson, program director for ArtReach.

She said the local non-profit organization’s studio, located behind the St. James Hotel on Bush Street, gives area residents a place to explore their talents.

ArtReach offers summer open studio hours 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays for people ages 15 and up, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays for all ages (children under 11 must be supervised). The studio is free to use and no registration is required.

Perhaps best of all, Nelson said going to ArtReach eliminates the worry of spilled paint and making a mess of the house.

“Here we can wipe it up and move on,” she said.

Nelson said the Saturday studio has a focus on children, and is designed for families to drop in and hang out for a while to get out of the heat.

The Tuesday and Wednesday studios are more suitable for older crowds, including adults who once dabbled in painting or drawing in high school and may be interested in giving it another shot.

ArtReach also has many art supplies available, including canvas, acrylic paint, drawing markers and pencils. There is no charge to use the supplies, but a freewill donation is appreciated, Nelson said.

“It’s really laid back,” she added. “I don’t want people to feel like they have to be an artist to come in.”

The studios also are a great way to become part of a local community of artists, something Nelson said already has started to happen for a free manga drawing class that meets Tuesday nights. The class has brought together a group of artists with a shared interest in the Japanese-drawing style.

“People have met through that group that maybe wouldn’t have known each other, and now they have something in common,” Nelson said. “That’s really great to see.”

Free to enjoy ...

open art studios

Where: ArtReach, 112 Bush St.

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Splurge: Make a freewill donation to help keep ArtReach supplies stocked; a sketchbook can be packed along outside the studio to inspiring spots around town

More info:

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

(651) 301-7875