Local artist Joel Esqueda, who first organized the mural project for the utility boxes in downtown Hollister in 2014, has opened up an Art Studio at the old Hazel Hawkins Hospital Building in Hollister. The studio is located at 910 Monterey St., suite 220.
Esqueda decided to name his studio and small business ARTI-Culture, which he said strives to provide a safe, welcoming, inclusive space in which everyone can feel comfortable to be creative. The mission statement behind ARTI-Culture inspired Esqueda to implement a unique policy for accepting payment at his studio.
ARTI-Culture has what is called an honor till. When students come in to take classes, there is suggested pricing for a drop-in day session or six-week-long sessions. The student or person making the payment can access the cash register at any time and casually submit payment or make change for themselves. At the end of the day, the payments from the register will be secured and deposited.
The idea behind this policy is to remove pressure from parents and decrease limitations to children who may not be able to afford access to extracurricular activities such as art. Esqueda said he wants the feel of the space to be all-inclusive and community-based.
In following this model, ARTI-Culture has asked community members support to help sustain the studio by giving a little more if they are in the position to do so. People who come in to the studio can always add money to the till to help pay for another child that couldn't pay for themselves. ARTI-Culture is also taking donations for art supplies for the children's classes.
For a class schedule, pricing, and to see how to help out, follow ARTI-Culture on Facebook. Pictures of the new studio and more information such as the studio's Amazon wishlist is on its website at www.arti-culture.com.