Reno-born Emily Reid had a feeling she wanted to be an artist from a young age, but always seemed to find herself pushed in a different direction. “When you’re a kid, you’re kind of perfect, and you know all this stuff, and then the world and people and your parents, they just kind of guide you to where they think you’re supposed to go—even if you already know,” Reid said. “So, in college, I was studying industrial organizational psychology. I was like, ‘I don’t want to be an artist, because you can’t really be an artist and have a job.’”

As a child, she was happiest when she was creating, and her obsession with animals and nature inspired her later works—brightly colored, whimsical acrylic portraits of animals, some of which she’s now sold to international design and interior decorating companies. As she entered her 30s, she decided she wanted to learn a new skill. Instead, she began refining her old ones. Now, she’s opened a new combination studio space and classroom called Art House, where her love of art and her desire to teach—especially children—can coexist.

In Emily Reid’s own artwork, animals are a frequent subject. Image courtesy Emily Reid.

“I was hoping I could get other artists in to collaborate with have a teaching place or a place to show their work,” Reid said. “Then I could teach my kids’ classes and then have a place outside of my house where I could have my artwork for sale because, up until now, if they have to pick up a painting, people come to my house.”

Art House is located at 255 Crummer Lane, near the Nothing To It cooking school. It was the owners of that building, Reid said, who first put the idea in her head to open a studio in the adjacent vacant property years ago. At the time, she was still teaching elementary art school classes and couldn’t justify the expense, but in January of this year she finally decided to go for it.

“It felt right, even though it was kind of weird,” Reid said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I gotta step out of my comfort zone. I’ve got to figure out, how’s this going to work?’”

“Teen Clay and Pottery” is one of several classes that Art House is offering for kids this summer. Photo: courtesy Art House

She decided on a collaborative studio space that will eventually house her own works, where she can also offer a roster of art classes taught by herself and other artists. They includ themed workshops like “Forest fun” or “Under the Bigtop Carnival & Circus.” However, the space isn’t just for kids. Adults can learn how to paint pets or scarab beetles. Edwin Martinez plans to teach a painting class in Spanish. Artist Cat Stahl has a painting class coming up, too.

Classes began earlier in June, and many have already sold out for later in the summer—with all materials provided for students under the class fee, Reid said. However, she is still a working artist, she can only offer so many classes at a time. She hopes that, as Art House becomes more established, she can build relationships with more artists who are looking for a space to show their own work and offer more workshops. 

“I try to be as process-based as possible,” Reid said. “So, it’s like, come on and let’s just get out of your head and make something—don’t judge yourself. Hopefully it will lead you to a good outcome, but that’s not the biggest part. Every human’s creative, like, get back in touch if you’ve lost touch with your creative self.”

For a complete class schedule, visit Art House’s website. To see more of Emily Reid’s paintings, visit her website.

Posted by Matt Bieker

Matt Bieker is an award-winning photojournalist and native of Reno, Nevada. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of Nevada Reno in 2014, and currently covers arts & entertainment and community development in his hometown.