Artsy store encourages local creativity

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2008

By AMY GORDON / Staff Writer

Residents of Chelsea and North Shelby now have another way to show their creative side.

Artsy Fartsy, an arts and crafts studio at The Village at Lee Branch, allows customers to choose already-made pottery to be painted any way they please. Customers are only limited by the scope of their imagination.

Darlene Burns, manager, said Artsy Fartsy, which has been open only three months, fills a glaring need in the area.

“There’s nothing like this on this side of town,” she said.

The studio has a communal atmosphere, with long tables intended to open the door to new friendships. Colors burst from the walls and floors, and even the walls are bright blue and the chairs a sizzling red.

There is also a craft bar where Burns leads the Little Picasso events on Wednesday afternoons. Little Picasso is intended for elementary-age students, who are definitely encouraged to tap their artistic side.

“If they want to paint that cat purple, they can. It’s fine and it’s beautiful,” Burns said. “It’s art. It’s your interpretation and nobody else’s.”

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the studio hosts Mommy and Me events, where mothers are encouraged to bring their young children and mingle with other area moms.

“We just want to provide a social atmosphere, and art can be therapeutic,” Burns said. “People like to come in and talk to their friends while they paint.”

It takes an hour or two to paint a piece of pottery, Burns said. The studio has many different pottery pieces, ranging from bobbleheads to home decorative pieces. The pottery is glazed and fired in a kiln, resulting in a shiny finish.

The studio is also a unique space to hold events such as parties and showers.

“We’ve had birthday parties every Saturday since we’ve been open,” Burns said. “I just had a bridal shower a couple of weeks ago where they all got together and painted a couple things for the bride and groom.”

Parties are $10 a person, which covers a balloon, invitation and paint for the pottery. The pottery pieces are extra; they range from $5-$30.

For grown-up parties or for adults who just want to relax, alcohol is permitted at the studio.

“If a husband and wife want to bring a bottle of wine and relax, they can,” Burns said. “It’s a very cool atmosphere.”

Burns said she relished the opportunity to work in a studio and with children.

“Art has always been in my life,” she said. “I absolutely love it.”

She enjoys the reactions she gets from satisfied customers, as well.

“It’s fun to see the grown-ups who think they don’t have any talent, and then when they come to pick up their art they have to look at the tag because they’re so delighted in what they’ve made,” Burns said.