BUFFALO, NY - Within the confines of a former convent on Buffalo's east side, is a place offering art lessons in painting, drawing, clay, and photography for adults and children....and has been doing so for 52 years under the guidance of its venerable director, Molly Bethel.
The difference between this place and other art schools?
The lessons at Locust Street Art are-and have always been-free.
"I think that's very important because there's so much talent walking around and art can be very expensive to learn about and I don't think society can afford to waste anybody''s talent no matter what it may be," Bethel told WGRZ-TV.
Bethel says the classes began in 1959, in her kitchen on Maple Street.
"The classes started originally because a little girl who lived in front of me was an artist and knew I taught painting and wanted to learn how to draw. And then she started bringing her friends and it just grew from that. So nothing was planned, it just happened." Bethel recalled.
The art work on the walls of the building represent a legacy which has caught the attention of folks far beyond Western New York.
Locust Street Art was recognized with a NY Governor's arts award in 1985, and was studied by Harvard Graduate School of Education, according to Bethel.
'They were studying and looking for examples of excellence in community arts in economically disadvantaged communities all across the country," Bethel said.
For more information, click here or contact:
Locust Street Art
138 Locust Street
Buffalo, NY 14204