For the past decade, The Painter’s Loft Art Studio & Pottery Wheel Studio served Pennington as a community-based art studio for people of all ages and abilities to come together and create, assures owner Cindy Laliwala.
Offering everything from painting on canvas or wine glasses to pottery, candle making, fused glass and mosaics, The Painter's Loft features a main studio downstairs and a pottery studio upstairs. Privately-owned with professional artist-instructors, the Studio offers many options for emerging and experienced artists, and everything in-between. As a walk-in studio, those wanting to express their creativity can come in, grab supplies and get to work.
Special events, including kids' birthday parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and corporate team building, are hosted year-round, says Cindy, with all supplies provided and several packages from which to choose. Fall pottery and mixed media classes for kids and teens start mid-to-late September.
Private lessons and memberships also are available, while “Paint Your Pet” workshops enable pet owners to bring their furry friends to life on canvas.
In addition are programs for adults with disabilities and programming for seniors. "Every day, I meet people who feel they're not, or can’t be, creative. I love finding ways for them, despite their limitations, to explore their creativity, find their voice, and achieve something they didn’t think they could do," Cindy reveals.
An experienced graphic designer herself, Cindy says she's always thinking of ways to enhance students and customers' experiences, as the community is very much central to The Painter’s Loft. Lessons are even modified based on the audience’s response and experience level. And, despite having more than 3,000 paintings, she encourages customers to bring their own picture to replicate.
This desire for a welcoming, "safe," creative space "free from judgment" stemmed from her kids' experience in art class, where, she describes, teachers can be overly focused on technicalities for educational purposes. As an artist, Cindy wanted her children to see art as a way to express and be themselves. “There are different ways to look at art,” she explains. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Soon after, she started a popular art enrichment program at her kids' school. When Cindy encountered an available space in Pennington, she says her vision came to life in her mind. She left her corporate design job, and, in 2013, The Painter’s Loft was born.
Between students and instructors, Cindy says she loves being surrounded by different personalities each day. “Everyone brings something different to the table,” she adds, explaining how each instructor has a different area of expertise. “When these different minds come together, you get some unique ideas. All the different energies really reflect in your art."
Students and customers indicate they’re amazed at all that's offered, with something new always on the horizon – especially great for groups and families where everyone has different interests. Additionally, as a Pennington resident, Cindy's work enables her to feel part of the community.
“It feels like home, like family" is something she hears often. “Every day, I wake up and am excited to be at work," she promises. "I feel really lucky.”