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Art gallery gets new education coordinator

Lynda Ellis

Lynda Ellis

CONYERS -- The Olde Town Gallery & Studio recently welcomed its new education coordinator and hoped the public will take full advantage of the classes and a couple new features.

Lynda Ellis came aboard mid-September as the education coordinator for the public art classes at the gallery. She teaches adult classes in acrylic, oil painting, watercolor and drawing.

And Ellis said she is looking to "grow the classes and develop the program."

"I think they're surprising themselves with how much they can achieve just by applying themselves and getting a little direction," Ellis said of the students she instructed so far.

Ellis received a bachelor's degree in art from Georgia State University. She has years of experience as a graphic designer and illustrator. Ellis also helped promote art shows in Buckhead and coordinated art classes.

Colye Justman, executive director at the Gallery, said he brought Ellis aboard especially for her leadership skills.

"She's bringing a great deal of knowledge about the industry with her,"

Justman said. "I saw that the way she did her art was very definite. I knew that she knew what she was doing."

Ellis' classes are held at the Olde Town Gallery & Studio and typically last six to eight weeks. Currently, there is a "rolling enrollment," Ellis said, where interested residents can start classes immediately without waiting for the next class cycle.

"One thing we're planning on doing is an open painting evening in the near future where we just invite the public to come in and paint with us in the gallery," Ellis said.

The event will likely be a Friday evening in a relaxed atmosphere with light refreshments.

"We'll just paint together and enjoy that experience," Ellis said.

The new event is part of getting the Gallery back in the public's mind and helping residents see that the facility is really for them, Justman said.

"It's for the community," Justman said. "It's to engage the people of Rockdale County in an effective and meaningful way."

The Gallery also plans on holding open forums for the community to let people know that the gallery can assist them in many different areas.

"We want the county to be able to come in this gallery and get all their questions answered," Justman said. "Lynda is on board to help us with that."

"We want to grow this into a major facility for learning and doing artwork," Justman added.

And the classes are open to any skill level, according to Ellis.

"We are interested in developing our students from wherever they come to us in their skill level," Ellis said. "The most important thing is they just need to have a desire to do it and develop their skills and we're happy to take them as far as they want to go."

Justman encouraged the public to take advantage of the classes. He pointed out that the prices at the Olde Town Gallery are pretty reasonable, estimating the public would pay three or four times as much for the same service in Buckhead.

Those interested must apply to participate in the classes.

For more information and learn about various other art classes, call 770-929-9242.