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A New Artsy Offering for Shepherdstown

By Staff | Dec 5, 2014

Urban Easel hopes to offer Shepherdstown a new venue for creativity and fun.

Urban Easel is an art school and studio offering classes for area adults and children interested in learning or brushing up on basic fine art skills like painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpting with clay.

The doors of the small studio space opened in mid-November, just outside of downtown Shepherdstown at 8354 West German street, next to the Sheetz gas station.

Local residents Tricia Simpson and Brandi Mande are working in a partnership to bring the new studio art space to life.

“There’s so much art in this town and creativity and things, but not really a place where there can open studio and classes for little kids and adults,” Mande said.

Mande and Simpson have both been working as teachers for various age groups for several years.

Simpson said she’s been teaching art class for about 15 years and has been working toward her dream of opening the studio for a few years now.

“Tricia is passionate about art and teaching kids,” Mande said.

The pair believe Shepherdstown is the perfect fit for Urban Easel’s mission.

“There’s a lot of different backgrounds and different culture and a lot of different age groups,” Mande said.

“This is a good spot honestly I think to have a studio.”

Urban Easel provides the student with everything they’ll need to learn. Supplies like aprons, paints, clay, brushes and canvas are available for use in the studio.

“They don’t even have to think about it. Just show up,” Simpson said.

Urban Easel classes start at $25. Children’s classes include a morning yoga/art class, after school art, art club, homeschool art and private lessons. Lessons are $35 per session.

Paint Night events for adults and interested children start at $40 and are held the second Friday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. A variety of art workshops are also available and private kids paint/birthday parties are also a part of their offerings.

In addition to its classes, workshops and events, Urban Easel is available for open studio time for artists in need of a “relaxed,” atmosphere in which to work.

“We want to create an environment where people can experiment and create or learn and play,” Mande said.

Classes and workshops are open to artists of all levels. Mande said Simpson provides a step by step demonstration of skills that anyone can master.

“It’s nice to be able to give people who don’t typically paint or draw a nice environment to come in and do it with all the right supplies,” Mande said.

“Maybe it’ll give people a chance to try news things and find something that they enjoy doing.”

Only cash is accepted as payment at Urban Easel at this time.

More information about classes and prices can be found by visiting urbaneasel.wix.com or by searching Urban Easel on Facebook.

Contact Simpson at 301-706- 8247 or via email at urban.easel@gmail.com.