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.
Photography:Marblehead photographer uses unique blend of tech and art
“People interested in taking an art class can find a class, and more importantly, artists interested in teaching a class can advertise,” Kneisley said.
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 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.
Library update:Ida Rupp Public Library cancels February programming due to COVID-19
More than a dozen people painted birds on canvas near the warmth of the fireplace while they enjoyed drinks from the Crow’s Nest bar. Booth flitted from student to student helping them with their work, her bubbly personality keeping the class fun and upbeat.
“I loved the efficiency, the direction, the lightness, fun, and overall joy I felt in that room,” said Jen Nickel, a Port Clinton Schools speech therapist who attended the class.
Booth has been teaching art classes for years, but she was grateful she could hand many of the organization details to Art Dock.
“Art Dock took the business of class management out of my hands so I could do what I do best — teach and entertain my students. They were responsible for enrolling students, collecting payments, marketing and providing me with a wonderful place to teach,” Booth said. “Better yet, I never have to worry about cancellations or no-shows any more thanks to Amy and Kris at Art Dock.”
Art is broad, many people have talents they can share
Businesses interested in partnering with the Art Dock to provide classroom space like the Crow’s Nest did are welcome to contact the organization for more information.
Artists of many media are welcome to promote classes through the Art Dock, including people who teach music, writing, cinema, crafts, culinary and jewelry. Kneisley said art is broad and they are looking for instructors who have expertise in any area.
“Not everyone considers themselves an artist, but people have many talents and can share those talents,” Hawk said.
Kneisley and Hawk are opening Art Dock as a venue for advertising community art events for free. Included in the free advertising space are events such as art walks and art shows.
“People can promote those types of events for free on our site,” Kneisley said.
Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected].