Pop-up art: Noblesville duo offers mobile art classes from 1960s camper

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Caravan Classes owners Deanna Leonard, left, and Erin Goodman pause next to their 1969 Shasta camper outside
of their storefront at 98 S. Ninth St. (Photo by Sadie Hunter)

By Sadie Hunter

For several years, friends Deanna Leonard and Erin Goodman have been involved in the arts in Noblesville, selling vintage and handmade goods at local antique stores and malls and taking their camper throughout the midwest to offer pop-up and mobile art classes at various fairs and markets.

But in November of last year, to create a home base in Noblesville, the duo opened their storefront, Caravan Classes, at 98 S. Ninth St. in downtown Noblesville’s historic Richwine Building.

“We started doing craft and art fairs together,” Goodman said. “We did that for several years, and being art teachers, we thought it would be neat to offer a make-and-take opportunity for people at art fairs. Also, since we both have campers, we had this idea that we could have the campers at the art fairs and have it as a mobile art studio. It just kind of happened organically with our similar interests. We started about a year ago building the Caravan Classes model.”

“We had a very full schedule last year,” Leonard said. “From the time we developed the model together, we started going everywhere, pretty far-reaching. That experience kind of taught us to hone in a little closer to Noblesville. We had been looking for a studio space to serve as a home base for awhile. We opened on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26, 2016).”

The camper housing Caravan Classes is a 1969 Shasta. The inside is completely remodeled to accommodate seating for small art classes and projects.

Leonard and Goodman try to educate the community and their customers about famous artists.

“One of the things that we develop monthly is we feature an artist,” Leonard said. “So we come up with that artist usually based upon that artist’s birthday.”

The monthly class lets guests make a “mini masterpiece” that recreates a famous work of art from the featured artists on a miniature easel and canvas.

“We’ve done Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock and Jim Dine, and this month is van Gogh,” Leonard said. “At the end of the month, we’re throwing a van Gogh birthday party (on March 30). That’s going to be all things van Gogh. It’s for all ages, and it’s family oriented, and they can come and do projects.”

“Overall, we offer events like classes, usually a one-night class, in studio, and we like to have the ‘pop-in menu,’” Goodman said. “We find that people are so busy now that they don’t always want to commit to things down the road, but they might want to spontaneously stop in.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Handmade Vintage Market

Students work inside the camper studio on paintings. (Submitted photo)

What: Caravan Classes will bring their pop-up, mobile art studio camper to the annual Handmade Vintage Market, where more than 50 vendors will fill the 10,000-square-foot llama barn at the 4-H Fairgrounds.

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22

Where: Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville

Cost: Admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.

More: handmadevintagemarket.com

Vincent van Gogh Birthday Party

What: Part of the mini masterpiece monthly series, Caravan Classes is inviting people to recreate a small-scale version of a van Gogh masterpiece.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. March 30

Where: 98 S. Ninth St., downtown Noblesville

Cost: $28/person. Adults accompanying a child may attend for free. Parents of older children who wish to shop or dine downtown while their child takes the class can sign a waiver.

Register: Space is limited. Registration is required at squareup.com/store/caravan-classes.

Nesting Gourd Class

What: Guests will use a variety of supplies and techniques to paint a hollowed gourd. Tina Clark from Strawtown Garden Gals will bring nesting supplies and show guests how to turn their gourd into a birdie boutique where they can take nesting supplies to create their spring homes, which can later be used as a bird feeder.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. April 6

Where: 98 S. Ninth St., downtown Noblesville

Cost: $25/person

Caravan Classes owners Deanna Leonard, left, and Erin Goodman opened their storefront studio space in the historic Richwine Building in downtown Noblesville in November. (Photos by Sadie Hunter)

MEET THE OWNERS

Deanna Leonard

Deanna Leonard teaches private lessons and classes at Hamilton North Public Library in Cicero. She lives in Arcadia with her husband, John Leonard. Their daughter, Audrey, is a senior at Indiana University.

Erin Goodman

Erin Goodman is a full-time art teacher at Zionsville Middle School. She lives in Noblesville with her husband, Dustin Goodman, a Noblesville High School graduate.

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