Kristina Penhoet teaches felting in her Artists & Makers studio

Editors' Pick

Best Place to Experience Art

Want to try your hand at painting, glassmaking or even belly dancing? Artists & Makers Studios has offerings in everything from smartphone photography to doll-making and provides an outlet for all kinds of creative pursuits for beginners through professional artists.  

With two Rockville locations, Artists & Makers is home to nearly 130 resident artists who work in its studios and teach many of the classes. Glass, encaustic, digital, paper and fiber artists are among the residents, along with painters, sculptors and jewelers. Executive Director Judith HeartSong wanted the centers to provide a place for artists to work, develop their careers and build a creative community. The centers are also home to The Compass Atelier, a painting school founded by local artist Glenn Kessler that offers classes for students at every level.

Christine Cardellino’s paintings on exhibit at the Parklawn Drive location

The Parklawn Drive location has three galleries and provides studio space for up to 75 artists. In November 2016, Artists & Makers expanded to a second location on Wilkins Avenue, bringing it to a total of about 36,000 square feet of space for making and viewing art. Aside from adding 60 studios and two galleries, the Wilkins Avenue location also allows for messier, more industrial processes such as silk screening and furniture refinishing. 

Artists & Makers’ five galleries host shows for local and national artists. Exhibitions change monthly, and show openings, usually held on the first Friday of the month, include food, wine and often live music or poetry readings. 

Glenn Kessler instructs students at The Compass Atelier.

Artists & Makers Studios, 11810 Parklawn Drive, Suite 210, Rockville; Artists & Makers Studios 2, 12276 and 12280 Wilkins Ave., Rockville;