Exploring the Power of Art at Pacific Northwest Art Laboratory
Nestled inside Excalibur Apartments lies a cozy and intimate art studio designed to help people learn, reconnect and find balance. Founder Eva Vernitska created Pacific Northwest Art Laboratory in September of 2020, a solo project to help her get through difficult times in life. Today, it's grown into what could only be described as a playground for adults.
“This is a safe space to play around and experiment with any color or any texture you want. You can even watch us work to get inspired. Whatever your heart desires, we can offer it,” Vernitska said.
The exceptional staff includes Jenny Duntz, Jakob Cline, Kimberly Adams and Eva Vernitska. Together, they emphasize experimentation, creativity and believe that art and artists is a huge part of what PNW Art Laboratory stands for. Cline wears many hats, answering questions about materials and supplies, helping others achieve their artistic goals or simply being an art companion for those who need it.
"If artists want to talk while they’re doing art or if they want to express ideas, I’m here to listen and give them that experience,” Cline said.
As the pandemic continues, they have decked out the space with air ventilation systems, complimentary masks and hand sanitizers. For those not comfortable coming out into public spaces, art boxes are sold and delivered straight to your door with online art lessons to follow along within the comfort of your own home.
“We love seeing people feel better through art,” Vernitska said. “We want to give all the support needed to grow as a person.”
The art studio provides an all-inclusive experience with the option to rent your own private studio suite featuring a personal control panel and projector to help escape from the everyday busy life. The team supplies guests with aprons, gloves, various types of paint, charcoal, canvases and more. There's even complimentary tea, coffee and water.
“You don’t need anything extra. You can just come in and do your thing. We provide everything for you, just walk in and tell us what you want to do, and we’ll set it up,” Duntz said. “We even do all the clean-up and, if needed, can store your art for you.”
PNW Art Laboratory understands that at times, things can be difficult. Therefore, they offer a recreational therapy service tailored to release stress and anxiety. With the help of professionals and resources, the art studio can be turned into a space to improve feelings and well-being.
“The idea of art therapy is being able to express any sort of hardship going on in your life through different types of art mediums and avenues,” Duntz said. “It’s another type of outlet to help identify your emotions.”
The team hosts a multitude of classes at the art studio for all skill levels. Vernitska explains that it's set up for people to be as creative as they want and is structured to help guests learn different techniques.
“Every class is highly customized depending on the art we’re doing. We prepare the music, the snacks, and no matter how old our guests are, we do what we can to make the atmosphere fit,” Vernitska said.
Classes are kept small to give guests the chance to have a one-on-one session with the instructor and allow the experience to be more personal. Beginning November 5, they will kick off a two-day mask-making workshop.
If you’re an avid lover of art, PNW Art Laboratory offers four different levels of membership to bring you a wide range of perks including free studio times, sessions, and a discount on merchandise. The exclusive package features member-only events, giving those who join a chance to connect with other artists and be part of a supportive growing community.
Vernitska has plans to branch out to different areas of Bellevue and the Eastside, with a goal for a bigger facility and the opportunity to serve more people.
“I think it’s important to note that we want to make sure that we still keep the intimate commodity feeling for people,” Duntz said. “The sky is the limit. If people are enjoying themselves and happy being here, we’re going to continue to grow and we’re going to keep doing what we love.”
Images Courtesy of: Pacific Northwest Art Laboratory
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Pacific Northwest Art Laboratory
123 112th Avenue NE