A bell jingles as the door is pushed open to the small first room, which houses about eight tables, families of varying sizes at each one. The smell of paint hangs heavy in the air at Art Attack, a local art studio space in Albuquerque. Rows of shelves filled with blank white pottery and sculpture line the walls: clay animals, plants, plates, mugs, and much more. A room in the back that can host  events and birthday parties is visible through a doorway lined with colorful banners. Clay pumpkins and witch’s hats were of course a favorite to paint in late October.      

“It’s very kid-oriented,” one employee said. “A lot of it is kids who come in to paint—sometimes it’s dates, and even friends who just want a place to hang out.”

But Art Attack doesn’t just do pottery. They focus on many different media of art and want everyone who comes in to try as many as possible. “The main thing is definitely the pottery,” said an  employee, “but we are branching out into canvas-painting classes and even glass work.”

The setup is simple and comfortable. It is a great place to go and express artistic style, without having to take too much out of your wallet, and it is a great option for gifts and keepsakes. One family was working on holiday gifts for the children’s grandparents, giving a homemade touch to what would be generic store-bought gifts. “We do this for them every year. They love getting something homemade to hold on to,” a woman sitting with her family said.

I couldn’t help but wonder who first had the idea for such a place. The owner was unavailable for comment, but when asked why she began working at Art Attack, the employee explained, “I was out of a job and my roommate, who frequently painted here, suggested I apply. Being an artist myself I thought, ‘Why not?’”

She noted how Art Attack gave her a way to meet new people. “I’m now best friends with some elderly regulars who come in about twice a week,” she said. “That’s the thing: you have people from all over the city in one place because they wanted to make something. There is no ‘type’ of people Art Attack is meant for. It’s meant for everyone.”

I also wanted to know what Art Attack meant on a larger scale, in terms of the community and the City of Albuquerque as a whole. “That’s an interesting question,” she said. “I haven’t lived in Albuquerque long, but I would say it gives people a chance to bond over making art and meet new people. I think it’s great for kids to see they have a place where they can express themselves. I worry places like this are being taken for granted because there is so much to do here [in Albuquerque],  and I try to encourage people to come out and visit us as often as possible.”

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