Before the Dec. 14 grand opening, Hollada still needs to finish painting the building, install heat, refinish some decorative sculptures and install the oven and dishwasher for the transition students.
The name, Pi-Art Squared, comes from another planned use of the building in conjunction with the Danville school district’s transition program.
Hollada has been speaking with the directors of that program to use the training center as a resource for their students. Hollada will teach them how to bake pie, which the students can then serve along with coffee to guests at art exhibits.
The “Art Squared” part of the center’s name comes from Hollada’s desire for the facility to focus on more than painting and drawing. She is currently looking for any community members who might be interested in teaching other artistic courses, such as photography, dance and poetry. “I’m really interested in people who want to teach,” she said.
Hollada, who recently obtained her master’s degree in art from Bloomsburg University, has been a counselor at Northcentral Secure Treatment Unit’s girls program for 14 years and also spent several years in Williamsport as a private art teacher. Her private students went on to careers that include furniture design, lighting director, California-based film critic and a graphic designer for JC Penney clothing.
Starting her own art center is “something I personally always wanted to do,” Hollada said. The building she has on East Mahoning Street is perfect for her, she said, due to its large, open space, parking, loading dock and location just off Mill Street.
When she heard of it going up for sale, “I could not walk away from it. It’s the perfect place,” she said.
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