By Rachel Nguyen
Uptown Art was rumored to be the latest local “fun night out” opportunity. In not-so-exciting Southern Indiana, anyone would be crazy not to jump on a chance for that.
When I arrived at the location in downtown New Albany, I immediately noticed how colorful and artistic the atmosphere was. The walls were lined with canvases of all different sizes, splashed with acrylic paint in different designs and scenes. The atmosphere really set the artsy tone for the night.
Since my group made a reservation for that night’s class, we all got to sit together with our canvases. I liked this amenity because I did not realize how full the class would be, so finding six seats together would not have been an easy task if we had not made reservations.
The instructions for getting the right amount of paint were clear and easy to understand, which was a nice feature, especially for those who had never painted before.
The painting that the class was assigned was a picture of wine glasses on a blue, green, and yellow background.
The instructor was very friendly and seemed organized. She went through the steps of how to begin and continue the painting in a simple and well-paced fashion. She understood that most people needed step-by-step instructions, so she allowed time between steps, so that everyone in the class was in the same place. I thought that she knew how to handle the group well.
Some might wonder if people with differing levels of experience might not enjoy the class, but I found that it does not matter. Even though I have had prior art experience, I still found the class enjoyable, so I would recommend it to people of all levels.
It strayed away from the typical serious painting class because it was a relaxed environment with refreshments, wine, and chatting while painting.
The instructor seemed qualified and comfortable leading the class. Most have experience outside of teaching the classes at Uptown Art, such as artist Camala Walling. Walling has worked at Uptown Art for about a year and a half.
“I’m a painter, so I do mainly portraits and abstract, and I do art therapy. This is probably the biggest main room I’ve taught, but classes are usually pretty full,” she said. I was impressed with how she guided the room with ease and how the activity itself felt fun and easygoing, as the company promised.
My only criticism would be that if someone is looking for an out-of-the-box, abstract, impressionistic painting class, Uptown Art would not be for them. Most of the options for paintings were relatively basic scenes or objects, cute and simple, but not anything near a risky, bold piece.
That said, everyone around me in the class appeared happy with their final piece and satisfied with the nature of the class. Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Uptown Art and would recommend this class to anyone who wants to explore painting and walk out with a piece of art to be proud of.