The Wheatland Society of Arts (WSA) is a facility open to everyone interested in the arts across Strathmore and the surrounding areas. Their goal is to provide affordable artistic opportunities for everyone.  The teams' main goal is to spread their joy and passion for art to everyone in the community. 

Program Coordinator and Art Instructor with WSA Emmeline Keeling shared what the team has coming up in the fall session.
"I'm really excited about our fall programming; we actually have a lot of new stuff going on. So, I've talked about our new pottery studio before, but this is the first time it is completely up and running with our new classes and on September 16th we have the grand opening of our pottery studio."

On the 16th Keeling explained that they will have both the art and pottery studios open and then people can travel between the two studios, in addition they will also have art demos that people can try completely free, and that this also in combination with the Alberta Culture days so there will also be food and there also be prizes to win too. 

Having access to a space like the pottery studio will be a great asset for those who are wanting to learn, pottery can be a very expensive art form to get into explained Keeling. 

"For me, I'm able to do pottery for the first time and I think that's going to be the same thing for a lot of people in this town. It will be an opportunity to try it for the first time without having to invest a whole lot of money. Most people won't have a kiln or a potters wheel so it's something unique that most people may never do in their lives." 

Exactly. I think if you want to just try a few things out and just take a look at our new pottery studio, I think it's just something you won't want to miss. 

Keeling is thrilled that in addition to the events on September 16th, there is a long list of other classes being offered this fall but there is one she is looking forward to.

"We always have our bigger workshops coming up and the one that I'm the most excited about is we have a glass fusion workshop on September 30th, We don't usually have glass at the art studio, so I think this is a really exciting opportunity for people to try it. So this is a nice opportunity to try something new." 

Along with new classes like pottery and glass fusion Keeling is looking forward to having programming available for all ages.

"We're continuing our family paint days, I teach those and they're generally every first or second Saturday of the month and they're only $5 or $15 for a family of three or more. So even if you have a family of seven it'll still just be $15, we're trying to keep everything really affordable for people." 

Keeling teaches quite a few classes at WSA including needle felting and this year she will also be teaching a clay hand-building class at the pottery studio her message is clear heading into the fall affordability, accessibility and fun are the core of what the WSA wants to bring to the community. 

"I kind of seek out the artists as well, I'm always aiming to try and bring new and exciting things to the art studio and Pottery Studio cause I want everyone to have an opportunity to try all of these new and exciting art mediums while keeping the things I know people enjoy. So for example, I still have our youth programming and our regular programming running, and we have our preschool art on Wednesdays, I also teach homeschool art on Tuesdays on Mondays. 

The studio is an open and inclusive place for artists and creators of all skill levels.

"So in addition to our regular programming and our pottery studio, we've got our wheel throwing classes, we've got our clay hand building classes. We also have pottery open studio coming up as long as you've taken a clay hand-building class, you can come in, you can pay your money and then you get to just work with clay on your own time you can make whatever you want, and then we'll fire it for you."

Regular programming includes classes such as adaptive art, young at heart, wood carving and more.  Keeling believes that art should be open to everyone and understands there may be a fear of wanting to try something new but says that shouldn't stop people from coming to WSA.

"I'm tempted to quote Bob Ross here and say there are no mistakes, just happy accidents in art. But I do totally understand where people are coming from.  I myself sometimes get a little self-conscious, like with this whole pottery thing. I'm quite new to it, so sometimes I get self-conscious you know, if I'm doing the wheel throwing for example. But I think what people need to understand is it's a very welcoming environment at the Wheatland Society of Arts. No one is judging you and no one is expecting you to be perfect.  All we want is for people to come, relax, have a good time, and we hope that they learn something. It is OK if they're not perfect. They're just here for a fun time."

Keeling encourages people to stop by the art studio at 115 3rd Ave pick up a brochure and see what may interest you! 

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