Yellow Door Art Studios is a community art school located in the Town Square of Leonardtown. SMCM’s Professor Carrie Patterson founded the studio in 2009, when she realized forty-five minutes of art in public school is not enough time for young students to develop their artistic abilities. Patterson wanted more art opportunities for kids, so she established the “art hub” in Leonardtown.
Upon the creation of Yellow Door, Patterson supervised St. Mary’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students in local public schools. She recognized that there were no undergrad art education courses within the MAT program that prepared students for graduate school. Also, Anne Arundel Hall was knocked down, and she did not have a space to have an art studio on campus. Hence, she created Yellow Door Art Studios; downstairs, both children and adults can participate in art classes, and upstairs there is space for artists to have studios.
Patterson continues to work closely with St. Mary’s students to create a bridge between her studio and the college community. Students can do volunteer work at the studio or apply for jobs. There are job opportunities offered during both the school year and the summer, full-time and part-time. Anyone who volunteers or works for the studio is allowed to take one of the studio’s art classes for free, which allows SMCM students to experience an art class not offered at the college.
The studio has had a “huge impact on the community,” Patterson says. “It has been really rewarding seeing young kids getting a lot out of art programs.” In each art-oriented class, learning technique is made fun and enjoyable to students of all ages. The studio benefits the community in more than artistic ways; art is bringing the community together.
“The studio couldn’t exist in any other location,” Patterson says. The small artistic community presents a great opportunity for the studio to thrive; even SMCM faculty sign up for workshops, and various clubs from campus also take advantage of the space, like the Best Buddies Club. Patterson loves to see St. Mary’s community members at the studio. “[The studio] is a good place [for visitors] to spend time with friends,” she says.
Every first Friday of the month, Yellow Door offers an open studio for $10. This space is for anyone to come and enjoy a creative and welcoming environment while expressing themselves through art. From Nov. 4 to Dec. 30, Yellow Door’s “Off the Square Gallery” will be hosting their annual MARKETPLACE, featuring “beautiful, functional, American Made objects from over 20 national and local artists.” Christmas on the Square in Leonardtown is on Nov. 25 from 5-9p.m., which is a special day to shop at the gallery. Patterson says the gallery has perfect gifts for the holidays, so be sure to check out the shop soon.
Yellow Door Art Studios will be entering into the third year at the Leonardtown location in February 2017. Yellow Door is located at 22795 Washington Street, Leonardtown. Patterson can be reached at 240-925-1888 if anyone has any questions. Visit the website www.yellowdoorartstudios.com to learn about upcoming events and studio offerings.