Baker Hunt

The arts play a big role in our family. My spouse has background in musical theater and works in the arts. Our house is full of singing, dancing and performing. Our daughters been part of choirs, band and often take part in musical theater.

So when my oldest daughter and I were invited by The Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center (Baker Hunt) to take part in a Fused Glass Mandala Sun Catchers class on a Saturday afternoon we jumped at the chance.

For someone who lives on the Ohio side of the river, I’ve spent a lot of time in/around Covington, Kentucky. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect of Baker Hunt, tucked away as it is in a residential city neighborhood like Covington. I was totally unprepared for how absolutely gorgeous their space is. Tree-lined with beautiful painted benches, flowers and a large gazebo it was like discovering a magical park hidden away in a neighbors back yard. With the the light bending through the trees, I was thrilled that I had my camera with me. This place is a photographer’s dream, and I know the wedding party who was out there for a shoot was in for sublime photos.

Our class was held in a studio space in one of the three buildings that make up Baker Hunt. Baker Hunt calls itself a center, but really it’s more like a compact art campus made up three buildings, two of which are converted older homes. As soon as we entered the workspace we were greeted warmly by our class instructor, Crystal, who had materials lined up at each seat along the tables. I love it when we show up a class and everything is prepped and ready to go! The room itself was full of shelves of finished pottery, waiting for the kiln. There’s something inspirational and aspirational about doing art while surrounded by the work of other artists.

This was our first time working with glass, and going into this class I was a little unsure what to expect. Crystal did an excellent job of walking all of us through the process. From selecting for color to cutting the glass, it seemed like she always there whenever a question came up. Our class varied in ages from 10 years old to adults, and Crystal did an excellent job keeping the instructions and assistance appropriate for all ages. Watching my kid work alongside adults on her project was fantastic and is a healthy way to feed her growing independence.

Art is as much process as it is product. I’m a believer in choice when it comes to art, especially when it comes to kids. I appreciate guidance and assistance, but I find kids respond best when supported and encouraged to explore. Think about what they’re doing and make decisions. I was so grateful that this was the approach taken with our class. Crystal provided mandala books and examples of previous work for inspiration. She was there to field questions and provide guidance, but we were trusted to use own imaginations to think and learn with the materials. The only expectation on us was to create something. What that something was was up to us. By the time we finished my daughter and I had each created our own unique glass mandala. We can’t wait to pick them in a couple of weeks, after they’ve been fired in the kiln!

After our class ended Karen, the Executive Director, gave us a tour of their buildings and discussed some of the classes that Baker Hunt offers. Jewelry making, painting, pottery, drawing, photography, cooking workshops to name just a few. There are a number of youth classes with some offered to those as young as 3 years old. The best part is that all of their classes take place within these unique rooms inside these ornate rooms with high ceilings, hardwood, and original stained glass windows.

Making art while surrounded by art is a theme at Baker Hunt and the inspiration it provides can’t be understated.

We had a wonderful, inspired time at Baker Hunt, we can’t wait to get back for another class!

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