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by: COURTESY PHOTO - Missy Bryant and Barbara Kragund paint at the new Companion Art Studio.A new art space has opened in Forest Grove to serve artists with developmental disabilities. The Companion Art Studio launched Oct. 17 in the same building as its sister programs, the Companion Program and the Community Based Activity Program.

The address is 1341 Pacific Ave.

The only facility-based art program of its kind in Washington County, Companion Art Studio is licensed to serve clients of all ages in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

In the huge room flooded with light from ceiling-high windows, art supplies and tables wait. A rainbow of banners along one end encourages artists to “Imagine, Learn, Discover, Create, Invent, Challenge, Feel, Thrive.”

“I am looking forward to having the space filled with people, laughter, and making art,” said Emily Frankie, an art therapist and one of four artists who guide the studio. Rather than focusing on art as play, Frankie said, Companion Art Studio will emphasize art as product, teaching what it is like to be a working artist.

“There are not a lot of art programs that emphasize studio practice,” she said. “We want to help them find themselves as professional artists.”

Chris Knox, program art director and a working artist himself, will teach artists how to promote and sell their work. Artists will keep 100 percent of the profits from the sale of their work.

Artists will have access to a variety of mediums and art experiences. Donations of art supplies are welcome, as are volunteers who have skills to share or project ideas.

The studio will be open to the community Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required with a $5 per-person studio fee, free for youth under six.

Clients may use state funds administered through a support brokerage to participate in the studio program or may pay out-of-pocket. The per day charge is is $43.88 for five hours of assisted studio time. Hours can be adjusted to fit a client’s needs.

The studio is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information about the program is available online at thecompanionprogram.com or by calling 503-359-2512.

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