It will be an exciting day in Marathon when The Art Studio opens. Not since the Bougainvillea Gallery closed years and years ago has there been a dedicated art center in Marathon. And this one has all the hallmarks of being fantastic – talented staff, fabulous space and an exciting curriculum. That’s right, The Art Studio is all about learning and doing.

“Our slogan here is ‘Discover your creator within,’” said owner Sheila Cook. Many locals know her as The Bait Shack homeowner and a dedicated animal shelter supporter, but few realize her lifelong passion for artistic endeavors.

“I’ve always been interested in the arts,” Cook said, adding that she looked for some type of art class soon after she moved here. And found … nothing. So she set out to create something for everyone – all ages, all abilities, all comers. The Art Studio is located just north of The Boat House in Marathon, on the Oceanside. It is slated to open in early September.

“This is for locals and visitors and people of all ages,” said Cook.

The anchor feature of The Art Studio is the PYOP — Paint Your Own Pottery — room. Guests can pick one thing to paint, or 10, and create whatever their heart desires. The item will be fired in The Art Studio’s ceramic kiln and, after a proper curing period, be available for pick up.

To the left of the PYOP room is the glass art workshop. When construction is finished it will feature a glass art ‘bar,’ where customers can pick and choose the pieces they wish to fire in a special glass kiln.

In addition to the glass and pottery rooms, The Art Studio will feature half a dozen or so “walk-in” activities. Customers would be able to buy a kit of all the materials needed and interact with staff throughout the creative process.

The Art Studio has prepared a lineup of workshops that range from leather tooling to glass art fusion to painting, drawing and even repurposing old treasure into new treasure. Some of the workshops are only a few hours long on a Saturday afternoon, others will last six weeks. Workshop costs start at $35 and go up depending on duration and materials.


“We’re also planning family nights twice a month and other special events,” Cook said.

The Art Studio will have three classrooms, plus a “celebration” loft space where customers can book the space for special events such as birthday parties. The side garden will also get a face lift to create both a tranquil waiting space and outdoor workshop space.

“We envision this as an open classroom space complete with orchids and flowers. Students can learn about painting and drawing mediums and techniques,” Cook said.

The Art Studio has seven staff members in place: Sheila Cook, president and owner; Steve Cook; building operations manger and owner (plus IT guy!); Sam Stephens; marketing director; Leah Stephens, sales manager; Jesse Vandervoort, operations manager; Lynn Loftus, resident potter; and Marla Kohan, resident glass artist. The owners also envision bringing in guest artists to teach special classes.

“Our ultimate goal is to outgrow this space in five years,” said Cook with a grin.

For more information about The Art Studio, visit the website at or call 305-289-9013. It is located at 12535 Overseas Highway in Marathon.


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