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Sewickley's Sweetwater center adds new classes for fall

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

While many locals are clinging to the last days of summer, the Sweetwater Center for the Arts is fully prepared for the fall.

The Sewickley cultural center, located at the corner of Bank and Broad streets, released its catalogue of fall classes, including mainstays such as Monday Night Ceramics Studio, Introduction to Digital Photography, Oil Painting and Watercolor.

Classes start as early as Sept. 15, but the majority start the next week.

In addition to the returning classes, many new courses are being offered this fall, such as Landscape Painting in Sewickley, Girls' Night Out: Wrap Bracelets, Back to Basics: Ceramic Studio, and a Lighting Workshop for Photography.

“We've gotten a huge response for the new classes,” said Gretchen Fatula, Sweetwater's marketing and development coordinator. “People are really calling to sign up for them.”

The classes aren't the only things that are new at the center. Stephanie Stewart was hired at the beginning of June as the center's new education coordinator.

Stewart majored in art history and studio art at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh before earning her master's degree in illustration design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

She spent the past few years working in marketing and illustration at St. Edmund's Academy, a private school in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

The upcoming season of programming will strongly reflect Stewart's early work at Sweetwater.

“I jumped right into planning the fall catalogue,” Stewart said. “It was all very exciting and new to me, and I was very happy to put together something that I feel pretty proud of. I think we have a lot of really cool, interesting classes for adults, children and high school-aged students as well.”

Stewart recently was able to get her first real taste of a major event at the center.

Sweetwater concluded its summer programming with the Community Celebration for all family members and participants of the Creative Summer Experience, a two-week children's program focused on visual and performing arts, educational play activities and group projects.

With Stewart now in the fold, the staff at Sweetwater is hoping to draw a higher attendance than in years past.

To help that prospect, a few new instructors were hired. Most of the instructors are locals from Beaver and Allegheny counties, Fatula said.

“I made sure that everyone that was already involved stayed involved,” Stewart said.

“I talked with them to see which classes were successful in the past and interviewed new instructors. Luckily, we had a lot of really interesting people to come aboard that have several different skill sets and backgrounds.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com or via Twitter @GHorvath_Trib.

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