‘Haven’ A Good Time

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Artists can have their work displayed in the studio’s lobby. (Photos by Allison Eichler)

A sewing machine stands on a table waiting for hands to allow it to stitch something together. Jars of glaze representing the entire spectrum of the color wheel line a wall. White pottery pieces sit on a shelf biding their time until they’re brought to life with color. For the sewer, painter and ceramics enthusiast alike, Haven Art Studio, at 29 Haven Ave. in Port Washington, has everything an artist could dream of to make a masterpiece—it’s a true art haven.

Bought by Heidi Stephens and her husband in 2013, Haven is not your average art studio. Adult classes range from stained glass to jewelry design, with children and teen classes ranging from fashion illustration to video game art. As Stephens said, “We do not do arts and crafts. [We are a] serious art studio.”

Prior to taking charge of the facility, Stephens, who lives in Port Washington with her family, taught classes at the studio for eight years while it was under previous ownership. Now, Stephens still teaches, but she also has a staff of 15 professionals to lead students in other artistic forms.

“I teach back to basics, which is a serious drawing class,” she said. “All local, professional artists are teachers here. They went to art school.”

Studio members can use open studio hours to create work independently.

Stephens, an alumna of Alfred University’s College of Ceramics, considers Haven itself to
be an art school, and with its class sessions available in semester-based registration—no one-day classes are hosted—the studio offers a professional vibe. However, should you want to join a class mid-semester, Stephens prorates the classes so you have the option to do so. Missed classes can be made up and trial classes are also available so students can test the waters of a new art form. Classes range in length from an hour and a half to two and a half hours, ensuring each student has ample time to learn and craft their work.

“If [students are] interested in art and they’re serious about it, they’re going to learn the basic skills needed to get them to the next level,” Stephens said of Haven’s classes.

Shading, toning, values and color are just a few of the concepts students can master under the guidance of professionals, with charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, oils and a variety of canvas serving as some of the many mediums available to work with. Once registered for a semester of classes, students are welcome to utilize the studio and its amenities during open studio hours, free of charge outside of firing and glazing.

“I have adults here all day long,” said Stephens, who also teaches “Mommy & Me” classes at the studio. “And then come…after-school programs.”

Between birthday parties, Girl Scout troop events, paint nights and camps during school breaks, Haven does it all and knows no age limit.

“You name it, we do it. If I have a teacher that’s willing, we have the space and we have the creative staff, we’ll do it,” Stephens said.

With an art school experience that had her excited to wake up each morning, Stephens wanted Haven to have the same sense of community she felt during her time at Alfred University.

“I think what’s so great about this place is that it’s a community of all artists, so you’re always around creative people,” she said. “Surrounding yourself with artists is inspirational. All day long people are walking in and they say what a great place this is and I’m happy I’m able to provide that.”

To learn more, call 516-883-8344 or visit havenartstudiony.com.

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