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Regional artistic, maker opportunities abound

Mary Pickels
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Painting class at Feathers Artist Market and Gifts in Irwin.

From sipping while painting to sketching with charcoal, molding hot glass, dyeing fabric or woodworking, opportunities exist for crafts people from novice to advanced to practice their artistic and making skills.

Throughout the region, children and adults can find places to let their creative juices flow, with minimal or step-by-step instruction.

Among the local options:

Main Exhibit Gallery and Art Center in Ligonier. Owners Paul and Mandy Sirofchuck offer workshops in glass, clay, painting and wheel pottery, helping art “spectators” become “art creators,” according to its website. The business also exhibits and sells national artists’ work, from prints to steel benches, and offers a summer art camp for children.

Greensburg Art Center holds classes, workshops and artist exhibits. Make and create and after school programs touch on clay, painting and photography.

Latrobe Art Center offers painting classes and workshops with nationally known artists. There are opportunities for artists to exhibit and to sell their work in the gallery, and art camps offer younger “makers” a chance to learn.

Norwin Art League also offers classes in painting and drawing, plans exhibits, has a plein air group, and sells art supplies and artists’ work.

Flow in Irwin teaches paint and sip, after school classes, holds art camps, and is a retail artist market.

Touchstone Center for Crafts in Wharton, Fayette County, holds date nights for couples to try blacksmithing, ceramics, jewelry making and other crafts, no experience necessary. Workshops in those and other arts, including drawing and glass work, are available, and programs for kids and teens are offered.

• Pittsburgh Glass Center options include quick, “Make-It-Now” experiences, date nights, weeks-long classes and week-long summer programs. Instruction comes from both local and international professional artists, with classes in making blown glass ornaments, wine bottle stoppers, mosaics, and garden stakes, with most aimed at makers age 14 and up.

Hobby Prodigy is located at the Mall at Robinson, Allegheny County. It does not offer classes, but rather DIY craft experiences. Customers choose their own projects, such as string art, coasters, planter boxes and porch signs, from menus and are provided tools, materials and tutorials. Pedagogues (craft assistants) move amongst makers to answer questions, but do not provide step-by-step instructions.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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