Local Business

Art Shack aiming to make an impression

  • Artwork: A girl with her face painted practises her own artistic expression at Scribbles (Photograph by Deanna Williams)
  • Hands on: A youngster proudly displays his work at Scribbles art studio (Photograph by Deanna Williams)

An underwriting assistant and a taxi driver have teamed up to launch a new art experience aimed at children and adults.

Scribbles Art Shack Studio, is the brainchild of Chrisanthi Bartley, who works for a reinsurance company, and Sekai Waldron.

The new business aims to stimulate interest in art at its own studio and a mobile pop-up tent that can set up shop anywhere.

Ms Bartley said: “Think of us as that ‘mess-allowed space’ where you can create amazing masterpieces.”

“I originally started doing face-painting, and on vacation in Atlanta I saw a glass wall. It was about 20 feet and had painting on it.

“I thought about how we could do this at home. We came back and brainstormed a bit.”

Ms Bartley said the original plan was to ship in a trailer to be used as a mobile studio, but problems with the US suppliers meant that is temporarily on hold. Instead, space at the former Berkeley Institute on Berkley Road is being used as a static pop up-style studio.

“I wasn’t anticipating having a studio — we wanted to be mobile, but we are still working on getting a trailer here.”

The studio space is about 600 square feet and features plexi easels — clear flexible plastic sheets.

“It’s flexible plastic, people can paint on it. Children and adults can enjoy the creative process.”

The accomplished face painter said she wanted to expand into other areas of art. She set up her mobile tent at the Black Collective event on Front Street earlier this year to a good reception.

“The studio is doing very well. We take everyone from aged one to adult, and we’ve hosted parties for both adults and children.

“We range from crafts to pretty much any kind of painting and it’s all about just enjoying the process.”

She added: “We also have a sensory area for children who maybe aren’t into the artistic stuff.

“It’s got things they can touch and play with. It’s a space where everyone can come and enjoy themselves.

“And we are mobile. We have a tent and take the easels with us. It’s not the trailer I would like to have, but we’re making do in the meantime.”

Scribbles is open in the evenings and at weekends, and it is hoped it will expand further, including into summer camps.

Ms Bartley said she and Mr Waldron are trained in First Aid and CPR, certified by child protection charity Scars, and are official tourism ambassadors.

Services include a drop-off service for youngsters, and wine and painting nights for grown-ups.

More information can be found at https://www.scribblesbda.com, by e-mail at artshackbda@gmail.com or by calling 735-2399 or 535-5841