People who sign up for classes at the Hope Art Machine will be spaced much further apart than those pictured, and will need to wear masks when not seated at their work table. (Submitted photo)

Hope’s Art Machine re-opening after months-long closure

Smaller classes, safety measures will greet students in the studio this fall

Hope’s community arts studio is re-opening to the public this fall, with smaller class sizes and a lot of re-organizing to ensure safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After closing March 15, the Art Machine’s Studio A has been open to the public for the past two months offering paper crafts, as well as acrylic and watercolour painting. Starting Sept. 8, handbuilding with clay will also happen in this studio. Studio B, where wheel throwing pottery classes will be offered, won’t be open until October or later. Children’s and youth classes are currently not available.

A safety plan posted on the Hope and District Arts Council website lays out how the space will function during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have to pre-register, with no drop ins available at this time, and when students enter or move around the studio they will need to wear a mask. They will be able to take their mask off at their table.

Classes will be 6 people or fewer and each student will get their own table, Diane Ferguson with the Hope and District Arts Council explained. This is quite a reduction compared to classes of up to 15 in a handbuilding pottery class for example or 15 to 20 children in some kids art classes.

Students should bring their own refreshments to class as the coffee and tea usually offered at the studio will be removed. And moving between Studio A and B will not be possible, the plan explained.

The following classes (below) are being offered this fall:

Mondays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Adults Paper Crafts with Pamela McBride (

Tuesdays 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Adults Pottery, hand building with Tatiana Shklovets (

Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Adults Acrylic Painting with Cathy Davis (;

2 to 4:30 p.m. – Adults Acrylic Painting with Cathy Davis (

* will only be held if morning class is full.

Thursdays 9:30 p.m. to 12 noon Adults Watercolour Painting with Jackie Coughlin (

12:30 to 3 p.m. Adults Pottery, hand building with Barb Harvey (

Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Beginners Watercolour with Holly Smith (;

12:30 to 3 p.m. Adults Pottery, hand building with Ernie Eaves (

The arts council is asking people interested to sign up by emailing the instructor directly.

Classes start between September 4 to September 10, and Ferguson warns some classes may already be full as there are a limited amount of teachers and classes now are limited to 6 students or fewer.

For exact dates classes are to be held, check

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