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Michelle Scanlan (left) and Kristine Melby are pictured in the new Messes & Masterpieces space located in the WeTEC building at the corner of Minnesota Avenue and West Third Street. Apart from scheduled classes, the business will be available on Saturdays for an "Open Shop" where children and adults can be creative with whatever art project they want to explore.

New Richmond business explores art possibilities

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A community art center has opened in a new space in the city-owned WeTEC building in New Richmond.

Messes & Masterpieces, which has been in operation for about four years, now has a large art classroom, gallery space and storage space for its operation.

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Messes & Masterpieces got its start in 2008 by Christine Melby, who eventually opened a location behind Subway restaurant on Knowles Avenue. When Messes & Masterpieces lost its space there, they've been offering classes through Community Education and in various locations for a while.

Now they have their own home again, Melby said, and the possibilities are endless.

"It's nice to have a huge enough space where we can have stuff out," Melby said of the new location. "We won't have to tuck stuff away or tote it around."

An open house is planned for 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, to show off their new location. The public is invited to stop by, enjoy a few treats and explore the gallery, workshop and displays of special artwork.

"We're hoping to re-establish ourselves in our new location," said Michelle Scanlan, co-president of Messes & Masterpieces. "So the people will know where to find us."

As Messes & Masterpieces gets established, Melby said the organization hopes to invite area artists in to do their work and perhaps teach a class or two.

"We want to have children see what artists to do," Melby said. "The saying is you're either scared by art or scarred by art. We want to break down those barriers by having this community art center."

The business will also be featuring the work of various artists, on a rotating basis, in their gallery. The idea is to have Messes & Masterpieces become the focal point of art in New Richmond.

Messes & Masterpieces will soon be scheduling upcoming classes at its new location, including its popular Playful Art Class for kids ages 2 to 4.

The art center is also planning "Open Shop" days on Saturdays, where children and their families can use their imagination to create artwork using various supplies on hand.

For more information about Messes & Masterpieces and upcoming classes or events, visit their website at mes sesandmasterpieces.com, or find them on Facebook. Their phone number is 651-308-2938.

Messes & Masterpieces' mission is to "offer stimulating programming that inspires students of all ages to design and build creative projects."

The organization focuses on the process of creating art by giving students the freedom to experiment, imagine and invent with materials they choose to work with.

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