Diana Toma, left, teaches a full class on watercolor painting at the Abernathy Arts Center on opening day, Sept. 27. (Bob Pepalis)

Abernathy Arts Center in Sandy Springs resumed art classes on Sept. 27 after a long pandemic-forced hiatus.

“For those creative folks who live in Sandy Springs they now have an opportunity they haven’t had because the building has been closed for two and a half years,” said the center’s executive director Mindy Spritz.

During the pandemic, Fulton County gave the property at 254 Johnson Ferry Road with its buildings and tennis courts to the city of Sandy Springs, which now owns and operates it.

Residents wanting to take part in classes have plenty of opportunities as Spritz said “there are still a whole slew of classes being offered in October, November and even into December, because there are classes and workshops, so it just wasn’t this week.”

The maximum class size is 12 and some classes have reached that limit, she said. Interested community members can visit ArtSandySprings.org/Abernathy-ArtSS.

Weekly art classes and workshops are offered in a variety of subjects including drawing, painting, mixed media, fiber, beginner hand embroidery and more.

“Today we have an acrylic painting class, where it’s all levels so open to people who have never touched the brush before all the way to people who are coming here to brush up on their skills this evening,” Spritz said.

Several watercolor classes for different techniques are offered, as are acrylic painting classes.

Multiple types of art classes are scheduled at the Abernathy Arts Center, including watercolor painting. (Bob Pepalis)

“We have a drawing beautiful drawing class on Friday mornings and a figure drawing class upcoming on Thursday night,” she said. “And not to forget, there’s more than that. There are a short workshop classes that are just for instance, like a one-day class.”

 Those one-day classes include a pet portrait class and another called “All about Color.” A weekend workshop called “Painting Vibrant Flowers and Oil Paint.”

“There’s also something I’m really excited about and that is a mural making class. What are the ABCs of making a mural because we see so many more murals now in the Atlanta metro area, and whether they’re on a side of a building or the side of your garage, or even in your backyard,” Spritz said.

The murals can be commercial or for personal use.

Classes for children ages 6 to 9 in elementary school include a mixed media class. Middle schools ages 9 to 12 are on the schedule, as are classes for teens ages 13 to 17. All children’s classes are after school hours.

The cost goes from $85 to $325 as the most expensive class. Most classes are in the $200 range and meet weekly for six to eight weeks.

All of the teachers are professional artists and instructors, many of whom had taught at the Abernathy Arts Center previously.

“That was actually a focus of mine was to reach out to people who had taught here and loved the place and are so happy to return. Matter of fact, both of our teachers today, both taught at the Abernathy Art Center when run by Fulton County and are thrilled to be back as well as other teachers,” Spritz said.

More than half of the teachers have taught at Abernathy Arts Center before, she said.

Diana Toma taught the first session of her class, “The Art of Minimalist Watercolor,” on Sept. 27. (Bob Pepalis)

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.