With the summer sun blazing down on Mountain Home this week, parents may be looking for a way to keep their children entertained while keeping cool at the same time.
Luckily, Christy Pickers and her daughters over at Arty Party Pieces, Mountain Home’s brand new creative art studio, have a fun, creative, and cool way to keep the kiddos entertained throughout the week by creating their very own pottery pieces.
“Our entire family is arty farties. We enjoy arts and crafts,” said Christy Pickers, owner of Arty Party Pieces. “We’re not fisherman or hunters, none of that. So, when we came back here, we were like, that’s cool that we’re at the lake, but there’s nothing really artsy to do. So we just kind of all put our heads together and came up with this place.”
Originally from Memphis, Pickers and her family moved to Mountain Home after wanting to live closer to her mother, who owns a home in Mountain View.
A creative spirit at heart, Pickers had a passion for art from a young age but was not able to attend art courses and classes throughout her educational years. As an adult, she took up art as a hobby and focused on giving her children the artistic opportunities she did not receive in her childhood.
Pickers is a volunteer art instructor for Mountain Home Public School’s virtual learning program.
“I did not have the opportunities that my kids did, but I always wanted to. I enjoy it,” Pickers said. “I was just kind of outside all the time appreciating everything. It’s an escape for sure. You can just get away. Get out of your head. We still have pottery from a long time ago when our girls were like two and four, and we look back, and we’re like, oh my gosh, you were four or five years old when you made that.”
After deciding to open up her creative art studio, Pickers, with the help of her husband, Richard, started to renovate the space they had rented for their studio. They officially opened their doors in February of this year.
And while Richard wasn’t an artist before marrying Pickers, he’s become one now after embracing his family’s need to be creative.
“My husband was not arty until he met us, and now he’s secretly artsy,” Pickers said. “He enjoys painting, and his father was a painter growing up, and then he got onto that. He does his own construction now.”
Arty Party follows a similar business model to several creative art studios in Memphis, Tennessee, where Pickers drew inspiration from. These studios allow guests to book a time to come into the studio and paint pre-made pottery pieces before finishing them in the studio’s kiln.
These studios, like Arty Party, also offer art classes for children and adults alike while letting local residents try their hand at various art forms.
Pickers said Arty Party would be hosting several art classes throughout the year and is working on getting pottery classes up and running for those wishing to make their own pottery from start to finish.
“We’re also going to have some local artists come for classes,” Pickers said. “We have David Rodriguez at the high school. He does leather working and said he’ll come and do some classes. I’m also going to try and talk Jim [Tindal] into coming and doing his beautiful masterpieces.”
Arty Party Pieces is open Monday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and allows local residents to paint their own pottery pieces. Painting supplies and brushes are included after a pottery piece has been selected. Prices vary from $5 to $40 but are no more than $40.
Arty Party Pieces also features a kid’s corner and offers other art opportunities, including making wind chimes, sand canvases, lollipop crafting, and regular canvas painting. The art studio also has jewelry and various other art pieces for sale in its small storefront.
Painted pottery is finished and fired in the studio’s kiln upon completion. The studio can host parties of up to 25 people, and party options are available for booking.
Arty Party Pieces is located at 1322 Bradley Drive Unit #9 in Mountain Home. For more information, please contact (870) 405-1732.
“I love all of it,” Pickers said. “I like being creative and doing new stuff. I look forward to all our craft sessions, and I hope everybody else does too.”