Opelika Art Haus provides a place for east Alabama artists to create masterpieces

Updated: Feb. 2, 2020 at 6:13 PM EST
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - A fairly new facility in downtown Opelika is providing locals with a unique place for artistic expression.

This 1,600 square foot art studio in Opelika provides a place for creative types to gather, teach, learn, paint, express and grow.

“The Art Haus is a facility for artists,” said Art Haus co-founder J. Stern. “Down the road, we hope to have a resident artist who lives here, but right now we’re using it for paint clubs, classes.”

Local artist Carole Brandy Carson is one of many who hosts pop-up art classes at the Art Haus, which is just one of the many opportunities for experienced artists and novices to flourish.

“We’ve needed this for a long time,” said art student Sue Williamson.

Opelika Art Haus exists because of a generous donation from the Stern family. J. and Ginger Stern created this unique space as a way to honor their parents.

“When I was in first grade, she started in the school system as the first art teacher,” said J. Stern.

“The Haus represents Germany,” said co-founder Ginger Stern. “Dad was a refugee from Germany, escaped before the Holocaust started and came to Opelika.”

Opelika Art Haus features space for art exhibits, classes and creative expression.

“I’ve shown in Birmingham, Atlanta, Montgomery, but there’s not a lot. It wasn’t a whole lot going on on the arts scene in Opelika, so now we will have an opportunity to showcase local artists," said Carson.

Just behind the main building is a separate space where local artists will have a place to create their own masterpieces. Beyond that is another phase of the project where even more space will be renovated and turned into more artist studios.

“I think Opelika is a growing city. It’s a bubble, but having an arts and entertainment district is awesome,” said art student Parker Hamilton.

“I think this is really nice. We needed something like this here,” said art student Natalie Williams.

Carson, a local artist and teacher, says Opelika Art Haus is a great place to showcase her work.

“I am completely self-taught. I have always drawn. My father realized that I could draw when I was four, so they always encouraged it. They always made sure I got an opportunity to see other artists," said Carson.

Carson says she is also happy her work and the Opelika Art Haus can influence other young artists to realize their dreams.

For more information on the Opelika Art Haus, including how to take a class, click here.

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