Published first on the Progress News, August 16, 2021

The summer has certainly been abuzz with happenings celebrating our local connections, and on Wednesday, July 28th, Emlenton’s own local art cooperative joined in with a fun event of their own! The group formerly known as The Chicken Coop Studio 306 officially rebranded as “The Coop Public Art Studio” and held a community open house to celebrate.

From 5 to 7pm the public was invited to learn more about the Coop and their artsy neighbors on the top floor of the Crawford Center, including Allegheny Pines Pottery and Sandra Jackson Photography. To welcome visitors, the hallway was filled with locally created artwork and the studios offered free nibbles and sips, tours, and activities, including door prizes! The Coop had a giveaway bin full of free t-shirts and art supplies, a free bubble art station set up where kids (of all ages) could create their own foamy masterpiece, and they also offered an acrylic paint pour activity as well as tons of information about their calendar of events and classes for the rest of the year. 

Sandra Jackson’s photography studio was set up with a carnival theme (and cotton candy!) for fun-filled selfies, and Jenny Allen’s pottery studio was filled with the delicious smells of empanadas and sushi rolls cooked by none other than our own local celebrity chef, Don Ras. Blueprint Pet Grooming also set up a table with dog treats and info about their services, and Amy’s Closet had a summer sale going on down on the ground floor. 

The Coop, in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club Along the Allegheny, was in the middle of their summer Art Camp and families were able to learn more about the activities going on during the week. Information was also available on upcoming family-friendly classes and events, such as Art Lab on August 18th and Creative Peeps, a class focused on youngsters aged 6-15 which will take place every other Thursday starting September 9th

Coop board member Rachel Brosnahan noted that a goal for the event was to connect with more people in the community, and from the dozens of families enjoying the event, it seemed to be a success! “Something that is really important to the Coop board members is community collaboration and working together with people, businesses, [and] across towns,” she stated. The Coop already collaborates with the ORA’s regional redevelopment program and the Boys and Girls Club extensively, as well as with the Emlenton Civic Club for the annual Christmas Market and Light Up night and other events, and they are always interested in more ways to partner up and create art-filled joy in our community!

If you would like more information on the Coop, you can find them on Facebook at, where there is a full listing of upcoming events for kids and adults, as well as a ton of photos and videos of past events to get you inspired! Sandra Jackson Photography, Allegheny Pines Pottery, Blueprint Pet Grooming, and Amy’s Closet are also on Facebook, and I’d like to thank everyone who came out for the open house and supported our local businesses and partnerships!