WOODSTOCK — The Reeves House Visual Arts Center in downtown Woodstock opened its doors Friday. There, visual arts director Nicole Lampl plans to bring artists, aspiring artists, and the general community together through drinks, programs, and events.

“The goal is to make this a welcoming home to visual arts in the community,” Lampl said. “We didn’t want to make a normal gallery space that intimidates people. With our coffee and wine bar, our goal is to make it a place where everyone can visit and enjoy.”

The arts center features a coffee and wine bar, educational to public programming, exhibits displaying art created by local and regional artists, events, and an education studio for classes.

The building’s education studio is home to painting classes, and will eventually extend into more offerings, Lampl said. Classes and workshops will be taught by Debbie Tidwell, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village art teacher.

Outside of educational workshops, Lampl said that she is looking at planning events and programs over the next year that could see Tuesdays be an educational-focused night, like a speaker event, while Thursdays would be livelier events, Fridays would be First Friday or community night, and Saturday mornings could have artist workshops.

“Nothing is set in stone, but right now we are looking at having jazz nights on the last Friday of every month, and every Sunday we are looking at having mimosa specials with various juice choices,” Lampl said. “There’s also an event we are thinking about calling “Drink and doodle,” where local artists will come and create work on site which will then be available to purchase. That’s just a couple of examples of events we are looking at.”

Lample said the First Friday series could be a studio night with Tidwell. The program would include students of Tidwell’s from Elm Street showcasing their art.

“I plan to have classes for all ages eventually, teaching different areas of art which will be displayed in the education room,” Tidwell said. “Some of the classes will be finger painting, water painting, and various workshops.”

Exhibits at the center will last eight weeks. For each exhibit, Lampl said she is looking at planning events relating to that specific exhibit.

An empty, grass backyard will someday be a culinary garden, where the center will hold cooking classes, Lampl said.

“Over time it could be something special,” she said.

The center also features the Juanita Hughes History Room, which will be used as a space to house exhibits and information on local history, curated by Preservation Woodstock.

“We’re happy that this arts center is finally coming together,” said Christopher Brazelton, executive director of Elm Street. “The idea for this center spawned in 2010 with fundraising starting in 2015. It’s been a long journey to get here.”

For more information on the center, visit elmstreetarts.org/reeves.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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