Creative thinking and intellectual growth are vital parts of well-being. Atelier Art Studio is a self-styled gym for the creative self, where a work-out means honing those creative skills and fostering a passion for the arts.
Atelier Art Studio is a fine art studio and school that teaches painting, drawing and printmaking. With five instructors, the studio offers a diverse variety of art instruction and practice.
“We are known for the extraordinarily high-quality of our teachers, our flexible registration model and for being a warm and welcoming community,” said Todd Burroughs, the studio’s owner. Atelier Art Studio is a recent addition to Royal Oak’s downtown, which already has an established reputation of championing the arts.
Located at 407 E 4th Street, the studio is part of an emerging section on the east side of the downtown district that is attracting creative artisans and craftspeople into the field of entrepreneurship. Business owners are self-organizing around this identity of do-it-yourself craftsmanship, which adds to the organic feeling of start-ups and boutique retail, that’s attracting many people into today’s downtowns. Royal Oak was the first choice for Burroughs, who sees a lot of perks to locating here. “The foot traffic on 4th Street is important to my business. We often have pedestrians stop and back up to see what is happening in the front studio. They are often invited in for a tour and usually tell us how happy they are that we are in Royal Oak,” Burroughs said.
The studio has a striking design and layout. With long hallways, open rooms, and French doors, it’s both comfortable and professional, serving as both a gallery space and a workshop. “When people walk in to the studio they are often surprised at how beautiful it is. We designed the studio to create a warm and welcoming feeling, more like you are walking into a home than into what people often think of as a studio or school,” said Burroughs.
“Art education and community building are a natural match since people have an easier time taking the emotional risk of learning something new when they are having fun,” said Burroughs, who’s keenly aware that immersing oneself into a creative atmosphere for the first time can be a challenge. The key is making sure that the studio is a fun, safe and supportive environment that fosters the artist’s creative growth.
Central to building a community on fourth street is the idea of inclusiveness. Atelier has a broad reach with regard to age, demographics, and backgrounds. “Our clients are very diverse. The next thing people find surprising is the high quality of the work being made by the students, many of whom are new to making art,” said Burroughs. There’s usually always a group of clients in the studio, working on some project under an instructor’s guidance. “High School students building portfolios for art school admissions and after-school activity, retired adults staying mentally vibrant and engaged in a supportive community, fine artists refining their skills and learning new techniques, and working professionals who have created art in the past and who want to have it as part of their lives,” he added.
Burroughs’ makes it clear that the studio is open to people of all skill levels and who may lead busy lives. “There are several people in the studio who are making their very first pieces of art because they are curious. In September we are adding another set of nighttime activities on Mondays, hoping to have more opportunities for working adults,” he said.
Burroughs is aware that the studio serves another purpose in downtown Royal Oak. It helps contribute to the downtown’s identity as a center for the arts. Royal Oak is known for its trendiness, and artistic status in the region. This new business helps reinforce that point and drive it home by fostering an inclusive community for artists. “Our business is both an experiential business and an art business. Royal Oak needed a cultural anchor in the visual arts and I wanted our clients to have access to thriving community.”
Burroughs is building that community client-by-client every day. Atelier’s clients help strengthen the community in other ways too. The studio generates foot traffic and customers that contribute to the shopping and dining activities in downtown. “Very often our clients will go out for dinner after class, grab lunch from a neighborhood restaurant or get a drink after class. It is important to me that these things are available to our clients within an easy walk of the studio.” Indeed, the prolific number of amenities in Downtown Royal Oak make it a great location for building a community dedicated to the arts.
To foster your creative side further, consider being part of Atelier Art Studio’s community. Classes are held both throughout the week and on weekends. To learn more and sign up, please go to their website at https://www.atelierart.studio/booking