Art Dock creates local options for those want to learn hands-on skills

PORT CLINTON — Amy Kneisley and Kris Hawk don’t consider themselves artists, although they do enjoy supporting the arts and taking art classes for fun. But they kept running into dead ends when they tried to find local classes. Kneisley, of Port Clinton, and Hawk, of Westfield Center, had to travel further than they wanted to learn art.

“We were going all the way to Cleveland to take art classes,” Kneisley said. “It was hard to find classes in our area, even though we knew there are lots of artists here.”

Their problem inspired them to launch the Art Dock website, where artists who want to teach can connect with students who want to learn within Ottawa, Sandusky, Huron and Erie counties.

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“People interested in taking an art class can find a class, and more importantly, artists interested in teaching a class can advertise,” Kneisley said.

Genoa artist Rebecca Booth, left, helps a student with her blue bird and rose painting during a class at Crow’s Nest in Marblehead.

Through Art Dock, Kneisley and Hawk relieve artists of the work involved with the business end of offering classes. They provide marketing services for the artists by promoting their classes through Art Dock and other media, and students can book and pay for classes online. The Art Dock then sends them online reminders as well as information on cancellation policies. A small portion of the student’s class fee pays for the Art Dock services.

‘Really low-risk for the artist’

“What’s nice is it’s really low-risk for the artist,” Hawk said. “It makes it easy for them when they don’t want to deal with the business side of teaching art.”

The Art Dock’s first scheduled class, held at Crow’s Nest in Marblehead, was packed.  The Art Dock connects art teachers with students and, when needed, helps them find a venue for the class.

The Art Dock has partnered with local businesses to provide classroom space for artists looking for a venue to teach their classes. During a painting class on Thursday, artist Rebecca Booth of Genoa taught students how to create a whimsical bluebird and roses painting at the Crow’s Nest in Marblehead.

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