Artist Ruthie V. and City Catering owner Lendy Hensley met as teacher and student a few years ago at an oil painting class at the Pratt Fine Arts Center and quickly formed a close friendship, bonding over a love of art and the energy of the creative community.
Inspired by their shared values, the two formed the Seattle Artist League (Northgate, 10219 Aurora Ave. N; 206.483.9749) in 2016, calling it a “people come first” art school.
How is it different than nonprofit art centers like Pratt or Gage? Its founders see art as a shared activity and put students at the center of their approach to teaching. The one-and-a-half- to four-hour courses take the pressure off of creating perfect artwork; instead, students focus on experimenting with individual styles with the support and fellowship of classmates.
Classes range from figure drawing sessions ($14 per session) to six- to eight-week courses, such as portrait painting ($310), and are offered by a staff of artists and art academics in the morning, afternoon and evening hours to accommodate busy professionals, so that anyone with an interest in art—and connecting with others with similar goals—can pursue their dream.