How to make an Art Retreat or Workshop great!

Last weekend I had a fabulous art experience. I attended a mixed media encaustic retreat with Christina Lovisa. Christina rented a private lodge at a Spa in Chelsea, Quebec close to Ottawa, Ontario. It was a wonderful way to start the New Year!

I have taken a number of mixed media art workshops with Christina in the past and each one has pushed my creativity in new ways.

The reTREAT Experience

When you’re hosting workshops or retreats, consider incorporating some of these things that Christina did to make participants feel spoiled and special.

  • An Assistant! Christina hired another experienced artist to assist her. There were fourteen students in the class – too many for just one instructor. If Christina was busy, student’s could ask Amanda for help.
  • Local chefs! Christina hired a couple who prepared amazing food for us. They accommodated dietary restrictions – vegetarian, sugar-free and gluten-free. The food was beautiful and so delicious.
  • Aprons! Every participant received an apron with the lovISart  branding and their own name. Christina added her logo to the aprons with a T-shirt screen printer. This was a brilliant gift. Everyone was thrilled to get the apron, it made each of us feel happy right from the start. And from a branding perspective, it’s pure genius! Many of us will wear the apron at other workshops where people will see Christina’s logo and ask about it. Aprons were laid out on the chairs when we arrived. Christina had taken care to ensure that friends who were coming together were seated at the same table.
  • Names! We did introduced ourselves but it is hard to remember names of so many people at once. I really appreciated that everyone was wearing their name (stamped on their apron). Throughout the day we were able to call each other by name without hesitation.
  • Curriculum! Christina clearly laid out the day’s curriculum with printed sheets. We had small projects to introduce concepts and get us warmed up. After the workshop we can review the notes and we will remember what we learned.
  • Gift baskets! At each place was a gift basket. The basket contained art materials that would be used for the warmup projects as well as some treats to eat. A couple of local art business donated sample size materials that came in handy during the workshop. Dressing these up as gift baskets made participants feel special and helped organize the workshop – materials didn’t need to be handed out separately.

Many thanks to Christina Lovisa and her wonderful team for making this such an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Over to you…

I would love to hear from you. What has made retreats and workshops you’ve attended extra special.

About Ruth Maude

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of encaustic materials, techniques and tools. Everything I learn pushes my creative journey in new directions. I share what I've learned with other artists through my blog All Things Encaustic.

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When you\'re hosting art workshops or retreats, consider incorporating some of these things that Christina Lovisa did to make participants feel spoiled and special.

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