Lindfield Art Studio …the hub of all things arty
Set in the beautiful village of Lindfield, this local Studio is fast becoming a popular hub of all things arty in West Sussex.
The Studio is run by local artist and teacher Leesa Le May, who opened the doors seven years ago and has not looked back since. “Teaching art and producing art is a great feeling to have everyday!” says Leesa, who, after moving to the area 18 years ago to raise her family, decided to turn her artwork into her business. The Studio was born, first to give Leesa a space to practice her art and produce commissions but soon it developed into a mission, to provide a local space in which all children, parents, teachers – the whole family – would have the opportunity to be creative.
The Studio runs a wide range of courses and classes for beginners and improvers from printing and painting to clay sculpture and life drawing as well as guest artist special workshops. All ages visit the Studio from 3 to 80 yrs old. “I really enjoy seeing dads and their children sharing time and fun together at one of the clay and share days. A lot of the one-off events have been based on members of the family coming together to enjoy art.”
It was with this sense of bringing people together through art that, back in 2010, Leesa and her good friend Claire Fuller founded the Lindfield Arts Festival. “That was quite a thing, at that time it was just us, two local mums, a happy band of friend volunteers and £1 in the new festival bank account. To get a full weekend of free events with a wide programme of not just art but creative craft events, workshops, music shows, craft and open houses, took a lot tenacity – we did it and then passed the baton to others, mainly because we had exhausted ourselves, but this gives the festival a fresh face and theme every year. The festival is now stronger than ever and in its fourth year.”
Through 2013 the Studio has reaped rewards with the GCSE pupils who attend private tuition and the Saturday morning GCSE class with Leesa gaining excellent grades. “Ten students achieved A and A* grades, they were fantastic and I was so proud to help them.” Now it’s on to the next group of year 10 students coming through the doors.
The adults courses are great fun, with homemade cakes and coffee at the daytime courses and wine and nibbles in the evening class. “It’s a such a friendly relaxed class with a lovely atmosphere where people meet new friends as well as learn a new skill – the cakes and wine help too I feel!”
So what’s next for Lindfield Art Studio? Everyone loves to visit the studio on Village Day or at the Arts Festival, so 2014 will be an exciting year as the Studio will be open to the public on a number of occasions, a children’s exhibition and Open Studio is planned for May, holiday art clubs and the new toddler and pre-school art club on Thursdays is becoming a big hit for new mums to the area.
Also an exhibition of new artworks from Leesa herself is planned for May. “I love teaching and running fun holiday events but you know, to find time to paint myself is precious, when I do and sell a piece that I have loved creating there is nothing better.” Leesa’s artwork is eclectic ranging from fine etch work to mixed media collage, print and paint work. “I have just produced a card and print of Lindfield which is very different to the watercolour style of many previous Lindfield views. I like the quirky contemporary view I have created and so far have had very positive comments about the style, I have a Cuckfield and South Coast picture and card planned next. I love the Studio and I love the fact that everyone feels happy and very proud of their achievements when they have spent time at The Studio!”
“I really enjoy the painting courses, all materials are provided so as a busy mum, I can just turn up and get painting!” –Lucy Shore, Lindfield.
“I love the art classes because they are so fun and creative. Leesa is a lovely teacher because she helps us to understand all the different features of art and each week we get to try something new!” –Annabel Burton, Lindfield.
For courses, events, workshops, art parties or more information about the studio visit: www.lindfieldartstudio.co.uk; find them on face book, www.facebook.com/LindfieldArtStudio; or call 07738 288730.