Dun­dalk Art School taps into cre­ativ­ity

Rib­bon cut on Po­plar Place school

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

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.

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