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Students at the Open Art Air Space, regardless of ability level, have the opportunity to grow as artists. 

Image: David Riley

It's no secret that Park City is a haven for people who love art in all forms. And now, along with places like the Kimball Art Center and the Paint Mixer, our town has brand new venue where budding artists can learn and rub elbows with others who love to create: the Open Air Art Space.

Located just a few steps from the Jeremy Ranch Park & Ride, the OAAS is a truly collaborative artistic space. It's the brainchild of artist and instructor David Riley whose Park City classes had simply outgrown his previous teaching locale--the living room of one of his students. After shopping around and making some minor adjustments to the new studio, Riley opened the OAAS two months ago. "The idea is really to build a small community,"  Riley says, "regardless of your experience, you can come here to learn and grow, without worrying about spilling paint on the floor."

With that objective in mind, classes aren't taught in the traditional format of students signing up and working on assigned projects for a set period of time. The OAAS treats the experience of learning and growing as an artist as more of an ongoing and open-ended enterprise. Classes are limited to 8 to 10 students in order to maximize one on one time with the instructor. You can come and go as you please, working on the project of your choosing on days where you have time. It's a conveniently flexible schedule that can adjust to busy lifestyles. Anyone, regardless of whether they've been painting or drawing for years or have never picked up a paintbrush can learn here. In addition to weekly classes, the OAAS also hosts full-day workshop intensives with award-winning artists from Utah, including an upcoming Plein Air Painting workship with David Dibble and an Encaustic Painting workshop with Douglas Smith. 

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The resident artists at the studio help create a unique art community.

A major contribution to the community environment is the fact that the OAAS isn't just a place for classes, it also plays host to twelve local artists' studio spaces. The beauty of this arrangement is, of course, that while each artist has their own private place in which to work and concentrate, they also have direct access to other artists with whom they can share successes and struggles and bounce ideas off of. While some of the artists, like Patricia Lucas who's been painting in watercolor and acrylic for more than 40 years, are seasoned veterans, others, like Diana, first started painting just three years ago. In this sense, the OAAS is something like an incubator for creativity and artistic vision. 

Interested? Drop by OAAS's   Grand Opening this Friday, September 30th between 4-7 p.m. at 3070 Rasmussen Road #290. During the open house, you'll have the opportunity to view 30 works of art, meet the artists working in the space, and check out the studio while enjoying wine and hor d'oeuvres. It's the perfect way to begin your Friday night, ahead of Park City's monthly gallery stroll. See you there for an evening full of art!

 

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