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ART BEAT: Anita's ArtsCool starts the new year in a new location

Anita Stewart has been a continuing presence in the Gwinnett arts scene for decades. Her art school began in 1998 and was renamed "Anita's ArtsCool" in 2006. Located in Buford in the midst of the Buford Arts Colony, Stewart has been educating youth and adults in various forms of visual arts, and more, with increasing success. Now, Stewart has new digs in what she hopes to be the perfect location.

The big move from her current location on Moreno Street in Buford to her new location at 4264 Sudderth Road, Suite B, also in Buford will occur within the next couple of weeks. The anticipated opening date is Jan. 14.

"We have been waiting three years to find a perfect spot that's just right," Stewart said. "I think I've found it. It's next door to Galactic Quest comic book store and a few doors down from a dance studio."

Partnering with "ArtsCool" will be another artistic business, "Peace, Love and Pottery," a ceramic business headed by Ashley Towers. This creative company is both a pottery studio and a come-to-you business specializing in birthday parties, ladies' nights, team building, classroom parties, fundraisers and more.

The imminent move will not interfere with classes at Anita's ArtsCool! Classes are ongoing in early January with daily classes in oil painting and other visual media.

Stewart is excited about the new classes which will begin on Jan. 16. She is especially enthusiastic about her "Go Green Classes" which will be held on Saturdays from 1 to 2 p.m. for ages 6 through 12 and on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for teens and adults. Tuition is$80 per month.

"This class is unique not only in recycling materials and using natural, organic items," Stewart said. "It allows you to work with five different teachers to see if you wouldliketo take other classes with them. We will be doing painting with dirt, coffee grounds, staining, painting with tea leaves, altering books, making paper from lint from your dryer, learning Chinesecalligraphyusing bamboo sticks from mybackyardor yours, weaving with kudzu, and felting."

Visual arts play the biggest part of the class offerings, but there are also classes in acoustic and electric guitar for tweens taught by Dennis Assayac on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per hour.

Classes are divided into divisions for children 5 to 9 years of age, 'tweens from 10 to 12 years old, teens from 13 to 17 years old, and adults. Classes cover the gamut from cartooning to basic drawing, painting, clay and even sewing for adults.

Above all, the emphasis is on teaching art fundamentals in a creative and encouraging atmosphere. Student classes compliment what they are learning in school art curriculums. Adults and teens are urged to find their "voice" and sharpen their communication skills.

For more information, visit the web site at www.anitasartscool.com or call Stewart at 678-230-4937. For information about Peace Love and Pottery, call 678-714-5683 or write bohemians@peaceloveandpottery.net.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.