Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Art Studio Lets Little Hands, Big Imaginations Get Creative; the Painted Cat Studio Is a Young, Bustling Business That Offers Kids Summer Art Classes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Art Studio Lets Little Hands, Big Imaginations Get Creative; the Painted Cat Studio Is a Young, Bustling Business That Offers Kids Summer Art Classes

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

HOBOKEN - This small Brantley County city has long been known for timber and tobacco. But art is gaining a foothold, although some of the feet are small.

A 150-year-old house in the city's heart is home to The Painted Cat Studio, which bustled Thursday with pint-size painters creating boldly colored abstract pictures for their families.

"This is all about having fun with beautiful colors and letting your imagination go wild," said Michelle Raulerson, a mural artist who operates the eclectic combination art studio, gallery and consignment shop.

Raulerson teaches a summer art program for youngsters aged 5 to 15 three days a week at the studio, which she opened a year ago.

"I've always drawn and painted. I was about 10 or 11 when I started and I haven't stopped. I wanted to share that with kids," Raulerson said.

Beginning in May, the program continues until public schools open in August. Its hours will change to accommodate youngsters' school schedules, she said.

About 40 youngsters have come to the art studio to try their hand at painting, pottery and making mosaics since she opened. On Thursday, seven children 4 to 11 took up brushes to paint with acrylics.

Jeremy Ammons, 7, of Hoboken and Molly Scruggs, 6, of Nahunta shared paints as they worked side-by-side on their respective art. Both carefully chose their colors and frowned in concentration as they painted.

"I'm going to give mine to my mom," Molly said as she choose blue and purple as her main colors.

Jeremy had plans for his painting, which resembled eclipsing planets in an alien constellation, too.

"I'm going to keep it and hang it in my room," he said.

The studio's name reflects Raulerson's passions.

"I've always liked cats and I've always painted. I also thought I needed something unusual and catchy, so The Painted Cat Studio is what it is," she said. …

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