It’s no coincidence that the Dexter Art Center opened last fall upstairs from Artistica fine gift and art gallery at 3205 Broad Street. The nonprofit center was born through the efforts of Artistica’s owners, Pam O’Hara and Lisa Wandres.

“Ever since we opened the store three years ago, people have been coming in asking if we held classes,” explains O’Hara, a potter. Surveys confirmed that “there seemed to be a need in the community for something like this,” so they convened an open meeting last summer.

“We had more than twenty-two people show up who were interested in helping form an art center,” O’Hara recalls. “So we elected a board, held a couple fundraisers, and obtained space.”

The center offers classes for all ages, ranging from Beginning Sculpture and Introduction to Watercolors to Fairy Doors and Mosaic Birdhouses. Though some classes are also listed through Dexter Community Education, the biggest challenge has been getting out the word that they exist. “We’ve had a problem with that from the get-go,” says O’Hara. “We’re all volunteers, which makes it hard.”

Their website is down, but in the meantime, they encourage people to contact them via Facebook or call them at (734) 726–0322.

“Arts and culture really help round out a community,” says O’Hara. “You’ve got to have art.”