Pop-up art: Duo offers mobile art classes

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Caravan Classes owners Deanna Leonard, left, and Erin Goodman pause next to their 1969 Shasta camper outside of their storefront at 98 S. Ninth St. in the historic Richwine Building in downtown Noblesville. (Photos by Sadie Hunter)

By Sadie Hunter

For several years, friends Deanna Leonard and Erin Goodman have been involved in the arts in Noblesville, selling vintage and handmade goods at local antique stores and malls and taking their camper throughout the Midwest to offer pop-up and mobile art classes at various fairs and markets.

But in November of last year, to create a home base in Noblesville, the duo opened their storefront, Caravan Classes, at 98 S. Ninth St. in downtown Noblesville’s historic Richwine Building.

“We started doing craft and art fairs together,” said Goodman, an art teacher at Zionsville West Middle School. “We did that for several years, and being art teachers, we thought it would be neat to offer a make-and-take opportunity for people at art fairs. Also, since we both have campers, we had this idea that we could have the campers at the art fairs and have it as a mobile art studio. It just kind of happened organically with our similar interests. We started about a year ago building the Caravan Classes model.”

“We had a very full schedule last year,” Leonard said. “From the time we developed the model together, we started going everywhere, pretty far-reaching. That experience kind of taught us to hone in a little closer to Noblesville. We had been looking for a studio space to serve as a home base for awhile. We opened on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26, 2016).”

The camper housing Caravan Classes is a 1969 Shasta. The inside is completely remodeled to accommodate seating for small art classes and projects.

Leonard and Goodman try to educate the community and their customers about famous artists.

“One of the things that we develop monthly is we feature an artist,” Leonard said. “So we come up with that artist usually based upon that artist’s birthday.”

The monthly class lets guests make a “mini masterpiece” that recreates a famous work of art from the featured artists on a miniature easel and canvas.

“Overall, we offer events like classes, usually a one-night class, in studio, and we like to have the ‘pop-in menu,’” Goodman said. “We find that people are so busy now that they don’t always want to commit to things down the road, but they might want to spontaneously stop in.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Handmade Vintage Market

What: Caravan Classes will bring its pop-up, mobile art studio camper to the annual Handmade Vintage Market, where more than 50 vendors will fill the 10,000-square-foot llama barn at the 4-H Fairgrounds.

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22

Where: Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville

Cost: Admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.

More: handmadevintagemarket.com

Nesting Gourd Class

What: Guests will use a variety of supplies and techniques to paint a hollowed gourd. Tina Clark from Strawtown Garden Gals will bring nesting supplies and show guests how to turn their gourd into a birdie boutique where they can take nesting supplies to create their spring homes, which can later be used as a bird feeder.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. April 6

Where: 98 S. Ninth St., downtown Noblesville

Cost: $25/person

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