Ever wondered what goes down at these awesome Cheap Joe’s Workshops you hear about?
Well, I had a chat with our Workshop Coordinator, Edwina, and took a look for myself so I could bring you all the facts!
It all begins a few weeks ahead of time, when Edwina emails you detailed information about your workshop and what your instructor suggests you bring to the class–sometimes it’s just the basics, like a few paints and brushes, but sometimes the instructors will supply you with the necessities and all you need to bring is yourself! You’ll also get a list of surrounding hotels and their amenities (many of which offer a discount for Cheap Joe’s Workshoppers!) so you can book accordingly, in case you haven’t already.
And then…the REAL fun begins!
Monday morning, as soon as you arrive at around 8 or 9am, there will be helpful Cheap Joe’s employees in our parking lot handing out hangers for your cars and ushering you to the spaces we’ve reserved specially for you.
Next, you’ll make your way over to the workshop and get set up at your own desk!
Waiting for you at your desk every morning will be a goodie bag from the Cheap Joe’s family! (Because we love you, and who doesn’t love free stuff??)
Each desk is 32″x40″ with a smooth Melamine top that is adjustable from 0 to 45 degrees and a height from 29″ to 44″, giving you plenty of workspace to spread out and stretch.
Once everyone has arrived and gotten to know each other a little bit, you’ll all get together to take a group photo with the instructor (and sometimes Joe).
This week, the instructor was Fealing Lin (fourth from the left, next to Joe).
If that name sounds familiar, it might be because she did the cover art for our 2015 Workshopper Flyer!
We’re quite honored to have her with us.
She has a handful of her stunning originals hanging up in the workshop, with the one for the Workshopper right up front!
So after the photos and meet and greets, it’s time for your first demonstration!
The class will sit in the rows of seats in front of the instructor and be able to clearly see their techniques from the massive monitor perched right above them.
Demos can last anywhere from an hour to the entire morning, depending on the instructor. But don’t worry! You’re free to take a break anytime, maybe step on over to the kitchen area to get some snacks or fresh coffee!
There are two breaks–one before lunch and one after lunch–where everyone is encouraged to get up and move around and take a look at what their fellow workshoppers are working on.
If your instructor continues working into a break, it’s also an excellent chance to get a closer look at what they’re doing!
During a morning break, some of the workshoppers gather around for a closer look at Fealing’s example.
After the first demonstration, everyone goes back to their workspaces to practice what they’ve learned.
Hey! Who’s that in the corner…
Cheap Joe himself is never far from the action! I caught him and Fealing admiring some of the workshoppers pieces.
Nothin’ but smiles from these two!
Now that’s a pretty eventful morning already. Time to sit back and relax with some free food!
We order catering Monday through Thursday (Friday is exempt because classes end at 1pm) from a local restaurant called McKethan Brothers, and lunch is served from 12-1pm.
This is a great opportunity to bond with and get to know your instructor, fellow workshoppers, and even Joe! You can also sit outside on our patio and enjoy some fresh mountain air and beautiful weather we’ve been having!
When lunch is over, it’s time to get back to work!
Some instructors will do another demonstration, others will just let you continue on your own, but ALL are very helpful and happy to offer individual instruction if you ask!
Having independent time to work is just as important as watching demonstrations.
After all, that’s what you’re here for!
There’s a lot of artistic brainpower here!
I was able to look over several shoulders to check out some progress, and I was completely floored by how talented everyone is!
This is Carole Childers, a retired art teacher who made the short drive up from Lenoir, NC (only about 45 minutes away)–though many of our workshoppers are from out of state, or even out of the country!
Independent work time is also an opportunity to step over into our retail store, where you’ll get 10% off anything you buy!
Everything you need is right next door!
All of our sales associates are at the ready to answer questions about products and help you find them!
When class winds down around 4pm, some instructors will make time for a critique where they go through a pile of finished pieces or works in progress and talk about them one by one with the entire group.
Other instructors will hold off on critiques until Friday, giving you plenty of time to finish up everything you’ve been working on.
When class is over, it’s not uncommon for the workshoppers to get together and have dinner somewhere in town. Boone has a myriad of local restaurants to offer, so bring your appetite as well as your creativity!
Won’t you join us?
Click here for more information about the workshops we offer and register for 2015 or 2016!