AmberLee Shuler has always enjoyed creating, but it wasn’t until she started taking art classes in middle school and high school that she realized just how much she loved art! Painting with acrylics, watercolors, and oils, drawing, calligraphy, she enjoyed it all. While taking calligraphy in 10th grade, her teacher encouraged her to try out pottery. At first she was hesitant. AmberLee explains, “I didn’t think I’d really like pottery, but my calligraphy teacher was also the pottery teacher and I really liked him as a teacher.” So, AmberLee signed up. “I took pottery in 11th grade and absolutely loved it! I actually had two pottery classes in 12th grade because I loved it so much.” At the same time she was also taking photography and graphic design and had decided to pursue a degree in graphic design once she graduated.
While in college she took several art classes including, drawing, 2D art, art history, and pottery, and was well on her way to earning her associates degree when, as often happens in life, she changed her mind. Instead of earning a degree in graphic arts, AmberLee earned her bachelor’s in elementary education, and began teaching. After her first year, she took a one-year break to stay home with her son. Still thinking about art, she decided to teach a few art classes out of her house before going back to teaching school full time; which she would do for another six years.
In early 2022 AmberLee and her husband went out on a date to a pottery studio, and that changed everything. She explains, “While we were at that class, I was like I want to do this! I want my own studio. Originally, I thought I’d just have a pottery studio, but I also wanted to do paints and other art.” The couple went to a few different art classes — just to make sure — but AmberLee was certain. She continues, “I was like, ‘Ya, this is what I want to do,’ and that just sort of started the ball rolling. This was literally like January/February of this year that I decided I wanted to take the leap; and actually open an art studio instead of just doing classes out of my house.” AmberLee laughs as she shares that once the decision was made they immediately started purchasing supplies and looking for a place. In March they found a quaint basement ‘studio’ that they renovated and by April they were opening their doors; welcoming all to Inspiration Haven Art Studio!
What can you expect to find when you walk into the studio? A lot of inspiration, a lot of fun, and a lot of ways to create! With clay being AmberLee’s favorite medium, it comes as no surprise that she plans to have a pottery room in the back of the studio. But for now, Inspiration Haven offers art classes, paint nights, and private parties for families, birthdays, and corporate events. Combining her love for art and elementary education, AmberLee also offers 4-week and 12-week kid’s art classes for ages 3-15. AmberLee teaches the fundamentals of art and the kid’s get to explore all types of mediums. AmberLee explains, “We work with clay and pastels, we paint with watercolors and acrylics, we explore all avenues. The kids come once a week for an hour-and-a-half and we just have fun and learn all kinds of art.” At the end of the 12 weeks Inspiration Haven turns into an art gallery. “We give the kids an opportunity to have their art work displayed in a more formal setting. It’s fun for them to see their work on display with everybody else’s.” The event is open to the public so friends, family, and community members can all enjoy what they’ve accomplished.
AmberLee has accomplished quite a bit in just a few short months and enjoys helping others fall in love with art too. For her paint nights, anyone, from expert to never touched a paint brush before are welcome. AmberLee shares, “I guide them through a painting. I teach them technique a little bit too, but it’s not necessarily a formal art class. It’s more of an opportunity to come paint a picture and have fun, have a friends or family night out and enjoy the night.” The two-hour classes are typically on Friday or Saturday night; however, you can call and set up a private party for any night of the week. You can choose a 16X20 (or request a size) painting from Inspiration Haven’s collection or, if you give AmberLee a two-week notice, you can send her a picture of the art work would like to use instead. Everything you need to create your masterpiece is provided by the studio. If you require ‘snackage’ while painting (or hosting a birthday party or event) AmberLee says, “bring the food” just let her know first and she’ll make sure there’s a table for your victuals. Her goal is to create an inviting, fun space where everyone can be inspired. When asked what artist(s) inspire her she shares, “One of my favorite artists has always been Vincent Van Gogh. I love most post-impressionism art but his has always been a favorite of mine. I love how he creates movement in his artwork and the vibrant colors he uses. I’m also inspired by my husband’s grandma and aunt. They are incredible artists and I have always hoped to paint as well as they do.”
When you visit Inspiration Haven’s website you will be greeted with these words: Inspiring Creativity & Imagination. If you scroll down just a bit more you’ll find this quote from Vincent Van Gough: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” And that is just what AmberLee is doing; inspiring all to ‘silence’ the voice that says you can’t, to use their imagination, and to create!
Saturday, December 3rd. Sign up for painting and other Christmas crafts.
Art Student Gallery
Monday – Tuesday December 12th & 13th 5:00-8:00 pm
2 S Main Street Heber City, UT