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Passion for art, kids in one place


A local mother has combined her passion for art and commitment to children into a neat, 630-square-foot package.

Ashley Skjaveland recently opened Honeybee Art Studio in downtown Red Deer. There, parents and children can work on art projects from watercolour paintings to elaborate crafts.

A professional photographer with three young daughters, Skjaveland has long used art to help her children express themselves.

She believes there are advantages to creating alongside your children, instead of leaving them alone with paper and crayons at the kitchen table.

“It’s a really important process for children to see their parents engaged in the same sort of activity as they’re doing. To have that interaction and connection is really a phenomenal thing.”

Honeybee Art Studio, said Skjaveland, involves more than “just come and do art and leave.”

She plans to offer a variety of artistic media, including acrylics and charcoal.

“Watercolour painting is going to be a staple that will always be here, because I think it’s a really fabulous medium for all ages.”

Handcrafts will also be available, with hand-warmers and dream pillows among the options available in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Customers pay by the project, with prices starting at about $12. Skjaveland supplies all the materials, with these of artist quality.

She also provides complimentary loose teas, coffees and juices.

Skjaveland came up with the idea for Honeybee Art Studio about two years ago, but it wasn’t until this past spring that the busy mother and businesswoman began planning in earnest. She modified her photography studio to accommodate the new venture, and opened quietly on Nov. 10.

“It’s a cozy setting,” she said, describing how pillows and cushions are scattered about, and small wooden tables provide parents and children with the option of working on their own or in a group with others.

Currently, Skjaveland is operating the art studio on a drop-in basis.

She plans to fine-tune her programming in the new year, hopefully with scheduled gatherings for specific age groups and interests.

“I want to hear what parents have to say. Then I can start to customize what I offer.”

Private bookings for events like birthday parties are accepted.

So far, Skjaveland’s young clientele have ranged from two to eight, but she welcomes older youths as well.

The challenge now is to raise the profile of her new business. She’s hoping word-of-mouth promotion will draw customers.

That approach worked well for Ashley Skjaveland Photography, which specializes in newborns, babies and children. That photography business been operating for more than six years and will continue alongside Honeybee Art Studio.

Honeybee Art Studio is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its website can be found online at ilovehoneybee.com.

hrichards@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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