Dundalk Art School taps into creativity
Ribbon cut on Poplar Place school
Aspiring artists of all ages gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Dundalk Art School at 1711 Poplar Place last Sunday afternoon.
From noon to 5 p.m., visitors got the chance to paint rocks, enjoy refreshments, view student art and learn more about the programs offered by Dundalk Art School founder Barbara Bustard.
A highlight of the festivities was the ribbon-cutting, attended by Dundalk Chamber of Commerce president Dawn Frazier and executive director Dotty Cristy, as well as state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling and Del. Ric Metzgar (both R-6).
During a brief ceremony before the ribbon-cutting, both Salling and Metzgar presented Bustard with citations honoring the new community business.
“Another business opening up … more jobs,” Metzgar noted, adding, “The entrepreneurship is such a great thing.”
He praised the school’s students, many of them children, noting, “Who knows how many art schools can be developed from this?”
For Bustard, opening Dundalk Art School is a return to her roots.
Born and raised in Dundalk, Bustard grew up on McShane Way and attended Dundalk Elementary, Middle and High schools, as well as Dundalk Community College (now CCBC Dundalk).
She has been interested in art from an early age.
“I have been doing art for almost 40 years,” she said.
She started as a potter, but is experienced in many forms and crafts.
She had a studio in Baltimore’s Charles Village and worked as an independent contractor, teaching art to students in Baltimore City schools.
When she had a recent bout of illness, she realized it was time to leave that role and pursue her dream of opening her own art school.
The owner of the Poplar Place shopping center at Merritt Boulevard and Wise Avenue approached her with an opening in the center and she seized the opportunity.
Dundalk Art School, which opened approximately one year ago, started small, offering just a few classes, but it has continued to grow in popularity.
Today Bustard, who is back in that house on McShane Way, is teaching fulltime — offering homeschool classes for elementary through high-schoolers, as well as courses for children and adults, on weekdays and weekends.
Dundalk Art School offers courses in everything from print-making to clay work and sewing. The school also hosts a paint night at the Poplar Inn once a month.
For Bustard, the opportunity to open a school in her hometown is one she couldn’t pass up.
“I’m a Dundalk girl,” she said. “I love Dundalk.”
She is passionate about bringing art to students who may not otherwise have the chance to take art courses.
“Creating anything opens up neural pathways in your brain … the more they open up, the more communication in your brain is improved,” she said, noting that art education improves self-esteem, fine motor skills, socialization and problem-solving.
Art also incorporates the engineering design process — imagining, planning, creating and testing — making the discipline invaluable in a science-driven curriculum.
Embarking on a full-time schedule for the first time this season, Bustard is looking forward to expanding her offerings.
“I would like to be a big, full-time art school,” she said.
Bustard is always excited to welcome students — current and new — to her school.
Prices vary by class; most classes are $25 a week or $125 for a six-week session (where applicable).
Check individual prices at the Dundalk Art School Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ DundalkArtSchool/
For more, visit the Facebook or web at www.thedundalkartschool.com, email dundalkartschool@ gmail. com or call 410-852-7394.
The ribbon was cut on the Dundalk Art School last Sunday.
Dundalk Chamber of Commerce president Dawn Frazier (left) and Dotty Cristy (right) presented a welcome basket to new Chamber member Barbara Bustard of Dundalk Art School.
The grand opening of Dundalk Art School was held last Sunday, Aug. 20.
State Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6) presented a citation to Dundalk Art Show owner Barbara Bustard.
Attendees got the chance to stretch their artistic muscles during last Sunday’s open house at Dundalk Art School.
State Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) presented a citation to Barbara Bustard of Dundalk Art School.