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ART BEAT: Anita's ArtsCool continues to grow for all ages

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Anita's ArtsCool in Buford provides creative visual arts education for all ages. The studio has recently added new classes for children, teens and adults. (Special Photo)

Anita Stewart is both an educator and an active visual artist whose work has been displayed throughout the metro Atlanta area. Her “Anita’s ArtsCool” in Gwinnett is a beehive of creative activity for children, teens and adults, offering a variety of classes promoting visual arts and more.

The school is located at 4264 Sudderth Road, Suite B in Buford. Stewart began teaching from a storefront in historic downtown Buford and expanded to the present location after serving generations of area children.

“Since 1998, we have presented Art FUNdamentals in a creative and encouraging atmosphere,” she said. “We love to watch students, from 5 to 105, blossom in drawing, painting and clay classes. For children, our classes compliment or enhance art taught in schools. Emphasis is placed on adults and teens finding their ‘voice’ in art and sharpening their skills.”

With the new school year starting, there are new classes, teachers and projects. However, Stewart is presently not at her school but “down under.”

“I am headed for the land of kangaroos and koala bears until late September,” Stewart said.

No doubt Stewart will return with a plethora of new ideas for her students, but art school will begin in September anyway, led by a staff of instructors.

For children, there are classes such as “Art Stars,” where students explore the works of great visual artists and create projects in various media on Saturdays. There is also “Create Cartoon Characters in Clay” where children conjure up “My Little Pony,” Owly, Sonic and “Avatar” as exciting cartoon clay creations. Also held on Saturdays, these classes teach the basics of hand building. There are also classes in handbuilding for children and classes in wheel for ‘tweens and teens.

On Monday evenings and Saturday, there is a teen class called “From Drawing to Painting.”

“Students will learn techniques to bridge reality into drawings or paintings,” Stewart said. “This is a great class for beginners- through advanced. They will learn tricks of the trade from an award winning artist. There are also individualized lessons within the group.”

There is also a class for ‘tweens called “Visual Journaling,” where students capture their lives with words and pictures.

For adults, there is drawing and painting on Thursday evenings, utilizing any media that inspires, creating from photos, and “using the right side of the brain to further your artistic understanding and expression.” There are wheel classes for adults on Saturdays.

Another new feature for this session is a writing class. “Writing to Attract Readers” will be taught by Sandra McKee, a published author of six books. McKee currently teaches writing at Devry University. These writing classes begin in September.

Other plans for the fall include Stewart’s participation in Taste of Suwanee on Oct. 12, plus a student and staff art show and sale in Buford on Nov. 9. Stewart’s artwork is on display at Pinckneyville from Oct. 2 through January 2014.

For information about Anita’s ArtsCool, visit aas.theclever.me or call 678-230-4937.

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