By Amy Taylor
Art lovers rejoice: Prince William is brimming with options for you to exercise your creativity! Prince William Living
found many unique opportunities to learn new art and crafting skills around town. Here are a few options.
AR Workshop Bristow
This workshop offers classic and trendy arts and crafts classes. According to co-owner Mary Stiehm, all of the workshops are popular, but the demand for seasonal and holiday events is especially high.
“People in this area take a lot of pride in having their homes embrace seasonal changes and trends, so it has been incredibly rewarding to help them make unique, customized pieces of home decor that bring spirit and personality to their homes. Every few weeks, there are new designs that we bring in, meaning that there are always new options for people to choose from,” Stiehm said.
AR Workshop Bristow is part of Anders Ruff, the parent company for a chain of franchised workshops. Stiehm and co-owner Cindy Husted began their journey with the company as attendees of a workshop, and they knew right away that it would be a wonderful addition to their community.
“We recognized a need for a unique, experience-oriented creative outlet in our community. We have both been part of this community for many years,” Stiehm said. “We know how much pride our friends take in personalizing their homes and making their living spaces feel warm, approachable and fun. We also know how important spending time with friends and family is. People want to spend money on experiences, rather than just things, and AR Workshop offers both.”
According to Stiehm and Husted, their workshop is accessible to anyone and everyone. “We were really nervous during our first few classes and didn’t think we would do a good job. But that just goes to show that this process really is for everyone. If we can learn enough to become owners and lead our own classes, anyone can come in and successfully complete a project,” Steihm said.
AR Workshop Bristow offers home décor projects like centerpiece wood boxes, pedestal trays, canvas pillows and more. “There is something for everyone, and at every skill level, in our workshop, and everyone makes their own choice of projects at each class. We also offer many unique retail purchase options,” Stiehm said. “Don’t be afraid to come on by and ask questions before you book your first class. We have customers that come in for parties or team-building activities, as well as those who come in for a fun night out. All are welcome.”
Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County
The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County has been educating students in many forms of art for 34 years. In the realm of fine arts and crafts, the center teaches a fairly wide variety, according to education director Candace Penders.
The center offer a wide variety of classes, such as drawing for teens and adults, life drawing, soft pastels, portraiture, watercolor, acrylics, digitography and digital drawing, photography and many more.
Many of the classes are taught by local artists like Manassas artist Michele Frantz.
Classes are kept small so that teachers can provide individual instruction to students. Inside the center’s catalog, each class has an age recommendation. There are offerings for students ages 5–7, 7–11, 11–14 and 15 and up.
The center’s primary location is in the historic Hopkins Candy Factory in downtown Manassas, but workshops are held in other areas of the community.
“We try to meet distance needs and accommodations by offering things west in the county. We have some programming at Windy Knoll Farm and some at Linton Hall School,” Penders said.
The center incorporates its unique and historic location into classes as much as possible.
“We’re physically located right in Historic Manassas where we try to incorporate as much of our neighborhood as we can into our programming. When you take a photography class, you get to shoot in Old Town. We’re part of a thriving, fun and creative community,” Penders said.
To learn more, visit center-for-the-arts.org.
Amy Taylor is a contributing writer for Prince William Livingmagazine.