GARDEN CITY–After a few trial runs, some of the adult, in-person classes resumed at Garden City Arts in August, but information about the classes was not publicly known until mid-September.
Katy Guthrie, executive director of Garden City Arts, said the reopening of classes was not publicly announced earlier because they wanted to make sure they could be done in a safe manner.
"The first class we only had six participants, but that was absolutely fine, because it gave us a good sense of how many we could fit in the space comfortably and safely," she said. "We had three in-person classes in August and both went very well."
So far only two adult programs have resumed in-person — Blushing Artiste and Acrylic Pour, Guthrie said. They’re the programs they were confident could be restarted safely.
The classes look different now than they did pre-COVID-19, Guthrie said. Teachers and participants are required to wear masks and everyone is at their own desk 6 feet apart.
Classes sizes have also shrunk, Guthrie said. Prior to COVID-19, they had more seating and up to 20 people per class.
"We're down to a maximum of eight to 10, so we cut our class sizes in half, and we're really making sure that everyone feels comfortable," she said.
Additionally, instructors are encouraged to check with participants before approaching or handling supplies, Guthrie said. They want to make sure no one feels like their space is being invaded and that they feel safe.
In particular to the reopened classes, Blushing Artiste, a paint class, looks different in that refreshments are no longer offered and it is only held once a month.
Guthrie said Arcylic Pour has changed little, as it’s a class that feels like it was made in response to COVID-19.
"Everyone kind of works at their own pace and at their own station and does their own thing after a very quick demo," she said.
Cleaning has also been stepped up in the classrooms, Guthrie said.
"All brushes are sanitized in between classes, that's why we don't have back-to-back classes anymore, to ensure that supplies are not being handled by the same person," she said. "We're making sure that everyone has their own supplies. We also thoroughly clean surfaces that are heavy traffic areas, just to ensure everyone's safety."
One big change to in-person classes is that pre-enrollment is now required, Guthrie said. Walk-ins are accepted if there is room, but with a limited class size, it’s unlikely.
For more information, visit gardencityarts.org.