Hartselle Courier Journal/ Jennifer R. Hill
Hartselle Art Studio and Gallery owner and teacher, Michele Wilson instructs one of her elementary-aged student classes on sketching. The students are preparing to enter and exhibit in the 2013 Alabama Wildlife Jr. Duck Stamp contest to be held in the Spring.
In downtown Hartselle there is an intriguing little shop. It has tiny paint handprints covering one wall, sketches paper-clipped and pinned to a rope along another wall, paintings, mosaics and a cage of parakeets on yet another wall, and the last wall, is guarded by some fish and the ‘studio dog’ Mahji. Instead of touting collectable antique gems as do the majority of Main Street’s merchants, this shop lends an inspiring, educational environment for patrons to creative their on priceless treasures.
The Hartselle Art Studio & Gallery, located at 313 Main Street West, offers a variety of art classes for children, teens, and adults. Michele Wilson, 47, of Hartselle, opened the art studio in 2007 after her student base became more than her home art studio could handle.
Wilson grew up in Corner, Ala., in art classes and around artists, she said.
“My parents had me in art classes everywhere. My uncle (Joe Garnett) is an artist in L.A. There are lots of artists on dad’s side,” Wilson said.
Wilson started teaching at home about 11 years ago. Word-of-mouth lead to more students than her home studio could handle so she scouted the area for space and found her current studio location. There she offers instruction in various mediums including pencil,colored pencil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor, and scratchboard. Occasional instruction in glass etching, woodworking and sand art are also taught.
However, Wilson insists that art is only an aftereffect of the experience.
“It’s really strange. It’s really not about art in here,” Wilson said of her studio. “Art is what happens on the side. It’s about self-esteem and confidence.”
Sydnee Lee, 6, is in her first year as Wilson’s student. She energetically announces that her favorite art forms are drawing and painting.
“I like that I learn. I didn’t know how to draw a bat before and I drew it,” Sydnee said.
Sydnee said her favorite medium so far is water color painting. “I painted a butterfly with a Christmas pattern and flowers and grass,” she said.
Sydnee’s classmate Claire Alford, 8, said she is learning things she may use when she grows up.
“I like drawing dresses and stuff. I have a fashion thing, I can make the dresses,” Claire said.
Wilson says it is important as an art teacher to be encouraging, giving a positive place to be creative in. She also encourages her students to exhibit their work in national, statewide, and local shows.
Wilson’s adult students will exhibit their work in the 72nd National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, which will be held at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center beginning April 7. Her children’s classes plan to exhibit in the 2013 Alabama Wildlife Jr. Duck Stamp, and Wallace State Community College art contests in the Spring.
“I like to see students who gain the confidence that they can do something,” Wilson said. It’s a way to get those emotions out.”
To find out more about class times and prices visit the Hartselle Art Studio & Gallery website at www.hartselleartstudio.com or call 256-751-4274.
Watercolor Society coming to Hartselle
Find local artists from The Hartselle Art Studio & Gallery soon included in the 72nd National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama , which will be held beginning April 7 at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center.