North Central News

Reducing stress through creativity

By Haley MacDonell
The holiday season is a time for family, joy—and stress. When expectations are high for decorations, gifts and family dinners, how can you relax?

Good Gifts Healing Art Studio, located at 1825 E. Northern Ave., Suite 253, is in the business of de-stressing through the creative process. Launched in April of this year, the open concept studio gives its members and drop-in clients access to fully stocked shelves of art supplies and classes.

Eudora Sommers stocks her Good Gifts Healing Art Studio with a wide variety of supplies as well as samples of craft ideas to help get the creative juices flowing (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

Eudora Sommers, executive director and founder of the nonprofit studio, wanted to create a relaxing environment to create. “I have a passionate belief that art and creativity is very healing and helpful to people to relax and de-stress,” Sommers said.

Good Gifts has a second-story view of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which Sommers believes adds to the relaxing environment of the studio. There is a common room, a kitchenette equipped with snacks, a room dedicated to painting and a multi-purpose room designed for classes and community events.

Beyond the open studio hours, classes are also offered two days a week: Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings, as well as on occasional Saturdays. For these two-hour blocks, the group focuses on one particular activity.

In December, the studio offers holiday-themed classes featuring activities such as Cookie House Creations (Dec. 5-6) and Cookie Cutter Clay Ornaments (Dec. 12-13), to bring some handmade holiday spirit into your home, and give you time to relax.

If someone can’t make it to a class, the activities are still available during open studio time. With the different supplies and activities available, studio time and classes allow people of all ages to find a project that they enjoy working on and take time for themselves.

For Sommers, creating art with an emphasis on relaxing means not being focused on the end-product.

“It’s all about the process,” Sommers said. “I encourage people to come and be with their creativity and do something that strikes them as interesting and fun.”

Classes and drop-in studio time are $15 each and give artists access to the wide array of supplies—acrylic paints, alcohol inks, pastels, and more—as well as the studio. Four different levels of memberships allow people the ability to come into the studio when it’s most convenient for varying amounts of time.

Since Good Gifts is a nonprofit, donations of art supplies are always welcome and tax receipts can be provided. For more information on the Good Gifts Healing Art Studio and its classes, call 480-499-0522 or visit www.healingartstudio.org.

Editor’s note: Haley MacDonell is a journalism student at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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