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Alla Prima Art Studio Awakens the Inner Artist in Everyone

By Pamela Sosnowski

For some people, the idea of picking up a paintbrush and attempting a painting is an intimidating prospect. Alla Prima Art Studio of New Braunfels, however, has been proving that anyone of any age and ability is capable of learning and creating art. For over a decade the New Braunfels studio has taught painting, clay throwing, printmaking and more to both children and adults under the guidance of an experienced artist.

"I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as talent that you were born with," Hannah Bligh, the studio's owner, said. "All it takes it hard work, practice, and excellent instruction."

It all started nearly 20 years ago with Bligh's mother, who was a local clay artist named Tracy Bligh. She taught pottery to five students at a time in her garage. Word of mouth spread and her lessons became so in demand she added camps and children's lessons to her offerings. Eventually she purchased commercial space in downtown New Braunfels and launched her gallery space for providing art lessons in 2005. She expanded the variety of art lessons and today, Alla Prima is managed by Hannah who acquired the business in 2015 after her mother retired.

"Whether you are just picking up a brush for the first time, or looking to hone in your technical base, we can help you," she says. "Alla Prima offer's an extremely comprehensive array of mediums, and each instructor is very well versed in each medium that they choose to teach. We won't let you walk into a classroom unless an expert is at the helm."

Alla Prima teaches over 100 students in groups and privately in several genres of painting (oil, acrylic, and watercolor), pottery, pastels, illustration, and more. Classes typically meet for two hours at a time and span five weeks, allowing for enough time to complete a project. The adult oil painting class usually has a theme, whether it's learning how to paint a landscape, still life, or other subject. The cost of all classes include the cost of supplies plus instruction, and Bligh allows students to BYOB so they can enjoy a glass of wine or other beverage while they create art.

For kids, Alla Prima offers not just regular classes but summer camps as well, which run for three hours each morning for a one week period. These are suitable for children ages five through 13, and include a snack along with supplies. Each weekly camp covers a different theme: drawing, painting, clay, book making, princess camp, and more.

Bligh believes that art is important for children as it nurtures their own unique imagination.

"Art offers children a more flexible and welcoming path to critical thinking and problem solving skills," she said. "They are presented with a project and have express their solution in a two or three dimensional manner rather than a more simple means. So, they have to get some extra gears turning."

Bligh looks forward to what the next twenty years of the studio will bring and nurturing future artists, particularly the local youth community. Classes and summer camps may be booked through the studio's website at allaprimaartstudio.com.

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