by Kelly Vincent
On a typical Wednesday night at Allens Lane Art Center, students gather and spread their palettes, brushes and paper across the table. Barbara Buehler, of Ambler, strokes her paper with various reds as she recreates a Georgia O’Keeffe painting while Jack Donavan, of Roxborough, paints from a photograph. Other students draw and paint from still lifes or imagination. Some walk around the room, stopping to ask one another student questions. There’s a sense of camaraderie and support.
Marcia Jones, a professional artist from Mt. Airy, helps students create art in an encouraging, friendly environment. On most nights, students of all levels work on their own personal projects and receive individual attention from Marcia, but once a month Marcia works with the group on a special topic, such as painting techniques, color theory or the exploration of new materials. Tea and snacks are always available. The subjects and styles seem endless as Marcia guides the students as needed. For some, the class is a continuation of prior art studies. For others, it’s a brand new experience. Skill levels blend together well, and the class seems a perfect combination of structure and freedom.
Allens Lane Art Center supports local artists through classes and workshops including water media, pottery, dance, theater and a children’s summer art camp. The center has seen significant growth and interest in its classes and support from the community. The water media group welcomes students of all levels and artistic experience. The class meets on Wednesday nights with a rolling monthly registration.
The pottery studio at the center is also thriving with new classes, clay date nights and children’s clay birthday parties. Students learn the art of the potter’s wheel and hand-building on the tabletop. Classes are structured for all levels, and there are step-by-step projects and guided development for advanced students.
The groups are preparing for an upcoming show and sale at the center. Allens Lane Art Center hosts biannual art and pottery shows in the spring and winter. The shows feature work by the center’s water media and pottery students and teachers, including visually impaired artists from the Vision Through Arts program. The winter 2014 show had tremendous response and community support with original art pieces for sale at reasonable cost. The center expects these sales to continue for years to come.
The spring show is on April 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features a garden theme. The show allows the center to promote classes while also giving visitors the opportunity to see the studios where work is created. Artists are present at the shows to answer questions about the work or classes and to allow visitors to watch them work on their paintings. The center welcomes volunteers to assist with the shows and other events. If interested, call 215-248-0546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Allens Lane Art Center is located in West Mt. Airy at 601 West Allens Lane.
Kelly Vincent is a 40-year-old art student at Allens Lane Art Center. She has a masters degree in technical communication and also studies digital photography at the University of the Arts. Kelly lives in Chestnut Hill with her husband and pet bird.