I’m always picking up cards and flyers around town of places that look interesting and one I’ve had for over a year. It’s a flyer for a place called The Art Garage and on the flyer it says it’s located on Sheridan Road. Well, I went online to check it out and I found out they’ve moved to Main Street. And it also appears that there’s a ton of stuff going on inside of this space from art classes to a gallery and one thing that really caught my eye is something called, “Drop In Art.” From what I read, this is something where you stop in without an appointment and create your own piece of art—they supply the materials—and it only cost five dollars! That sounds pretty cool, let’s go make some art!
Alright, we're on Main Street and The Art Garage is right down the street here...
Baboom, here we are. All we need now is to climb over this huge pile of snow. I see a little entrance path dug over there to the left, let's go for it!
There's lots of cool artwork in the windows, this is just a chunk of it.
As you can see, there's a lot of art and art-related activities going on in here.
They're open, let's go in, but first...
Let's wipe our feet, it's a mess out here from the 17,799 feet of snow we've gotten in the last couple of weeks.
Wow, it's really nice in here and there's such a comfortable vibe from the moment you walk in the door.
This is Jessica Ball who's the owner/artist of The Art Garage. Jessica told me about the wide array of art related things to do in here including: art classes, workshops, private parties, ladies night, date night, toddler art time and the drop in art, which is what we're here to do. But first, let's take a look around in here.
Here's a shot from the back of the gallery and it appears someone else has joined us...
This is Chris, who has his own window cleaning company and stopped by to clean the windows today, since it's finally warmed up to a balmy fifteen degrees outside! His company is Xpert Window Cleaning and if you want an estimate, call him at 309-573-6692. Jessica says he's the best and I take her word for that!
There's lots of art on the walls by local artists, including works by Jessica. Jessica told me she likes to paint abstract backgrounds and then paint a portrait on top of them using a photograph for a point of reference. This painting features a rendition of her great grandma.
This was painted using a photo that Jessica got from our friends over at Relics. Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling some creepy stuff went on during this couple's honeymoon!
The Art Garage has "featured artists" every month and February has three of them. Here's four paintings by Keith Wilson.
Keith also creates wearable art via these hats and shirts.
This is a painting entitled, "Dinosaur Dreams," from another one of the featured artists this month, Jonathan Gonzalez.
The trio of featured artists is completed with this work of art by local artist, Brett Fitzgerald.
Here's some press about Jessica and The Art Garage on the wall.
Smile...the Terminex man is on his way!
Matt, whom we know from the Main Statement stopped in to say hi. Sadly the store recently closed, but Matt said he and his wife Danielle both landed on their feet with jobs, so that's great. I'm hoping they'll try something again down the road.
Matt brought along baby Atlas and he happily posed for the MBIP camera!
Okay, this sign reminded me of what we came here to do and that's make some art! I plopped down my five buck fee and it's time to get to work!
And look, just like magic, Jessica's assistant at the gallery, Abi appears to help with this project. Which is great, because I'll need all the help I can get!
You don't need to bring anything to make art in here, all the supplies are supplied in-house.
The supplies kind of make their own art like these colorful objects on this shelf.
Today we're going to do a watercolor project. Here's Jessica preparing my piece of drawing paper.
We'll sit down over here and let the creative process begin!
As Jessica adds the watercolors to this dish, she gave me some pointers and instructions about working with that medium.
This is the piece of art that we're using for a reference point today. Jessica explained that I don't have to try to copy it, it's more for inspiration. Okay, time to start the art!
Hello Dali! Look at me go!
I added "MBIP" at the bottom so it would be a cool name-plate like piece of art to put up at MBIP Headquarters. What's fun about this is that Jessica gives you tips and pointers, but you're also free to do whatever you want to do, so the art is all yours.
My art is complete and here's Abi drying it off.
The art is peeled off and it's all set...
To hang up on a bookcase at MBIP Headquarters! Pretty cool, huh? That was a lot of fun, thanks to Jessica for being such a gracious host and we'll see you all tomorrow!