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A Year of Creativity, Growth at Art on Main
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Reporter

Maxine and Dave Sheaffer, of Zionsville, are celebrating the first anniversary of their studio, Art on Main in East Greenville.  To celebrate, the studio will be open Sunday, the day of the Hometown Christmas Parade, with a sale on paint-your-own pottery items.  

                Walking along Main Street in East Greenville, you might never guess what's going on inside the festively decorated studio with the paintbrushes on the sign. 

                Yes, Art on Main offers a myriad of activities like paint-your-own pottery, traditional and BYOB painting parties and kids' parties.  They also offer art lessons, commissioned pieces and workshops like wine glass and glass ornament painting.

                But what is also taking place, much to the delight of husband- and-wife owners Dave and Maxine Sheaffer, is that the studio is becoming a popular place for both individuals and families to explore and be creative – all in a positive, accepting environment.

                "I think art is scary for people, but this is a studio that's about growth and creation," Maxine Sheaffer said.  "It's about the experience when you create something.  Whether you think it's good or bad, it's a journey.  It helps you grow."  

                Opening the studio, which celebrates its first anniversary Dec. 5, has been a bit of a whirlwind for the Sheaffers.  Maxine, an art teacher who graduated from Tyler School of Art and Dave, a science teacher, were both working at Lakeside, an alternative school based in Fort Washington when they saw a "for rent" sign on the building.

                And when they talked about it, Dave, whom Maxine described fondly as "not spontaneous," said his wife should look into opening her own studio in the space. 

                "Every door just opened," said Maxine, 33.  "It was meant to be.  We kept trusting and walking forward and here we are."

                The Sheaffers, of Zionsville, say they have loved every moment of being entrepreneurs.  While Dave continues teaching full-time, the couple noted they appreciate both what working as a team has done for their relationship and the ability to help everyone from 3-year-olds on up to seasoned seniors explore their creative side.

                "Both of us have a passion for the arts," Maxine said.  "We see how much art has the power to transform people…Now we get to reach a much broader population.  Families and adults are getting the same excitement, gratification out of art that we would see in school." 

                The studio continues to grow.  The couple has plans to host a variety of summer camps this year and is planning to expand their workshop offerings to include scarf painting and other textile works. 

                Dave noted the community has played a big part in their success to date.  

                "The locals embraced us, supported us, believed in us," he noted. 

                "We were really moved by that," Maxine agreed.  "We've made a lot of good friends and it's been great.  Really encouraging."  

                While they joke that their favorite saying is "no painter left behind" at Art on Main, it really is a place for anyone of any skill level to take up a paintbrush.  The studio offers a large variety of paintings for both children and adults, on 11x16 and 16x20 canvases, where patrons can be led step by step how to make "their own masterpiece."

                "If we had a dollar for every time somebody said they couldn't do something," Maxine said of especially first-timers.  "But when you create, you have that feeling of success, accomplishment.  It can change you."

                After all, as Pablo Picasso said, "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

                This season Art on Main is hosting painting party nights, for a variety of holiday-themed works, as well as offering pottery painting with heritage items like a lighted ceramic Christmas tree.  Ornament and wine glass painting workshops are being held throughout December. Workshops and painting parties sell out often, so early reservations are recommended.

                To learn more about Art on Main Studio, visit their Facebook page, website, or call (267)377-5731.








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