Located in the Arts Building in downtown Chattanooga, Townsend Atelier is hosting art classes in person once again after the effects of the pandemic.
Townsend Atelier is a retail store that sells premium art materials. It also serves as an art school that offers classes and workshops to all ages and levels of talent. At the beginning of 2021, Townsend Atelier was shut down for several months due to the pandemic.
Seeing that the pandemic was going to continue to be an issue for the community, Townsend Atelier made the decision to reorganize its business model so that it could host art lessons and activities online. With the pandemic, many individuals came to know of the difficulties of online business and lessons, but Townsend found some unexpected positives in their transition.
In moving online, Townsend gained students from across the United States, Norway, China, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and Italy. Townsend was also able to record their lessons for students to watch later, which greatly helped students who lived in different time zones, wished to review a lesson, or were unable to attend class that day. The director, Peggy Townsend, was leading approximately three zoom classes a week for a year, and it led to many benefits for both the workers and Townsend.
The transition to online classes also affected Townsend’s retail aspect of their art center, leading them to offer curbside pickup and shipping for customers. Townsend saw a turnaround recently when businesses began to reopen as vaccinations eased the number of COVID cases, and this allowed for them to reintroduce in-person classes.
Townsend Atelier wishes to continue hosting a combination of online and in-person classes with masks, as well as other safety precautions when moving forward into the year of 2022. With the new year and new variants, Townsend Atelier will continue taking the precautions needed and will be ready to change its business model again if need be. Townsend sends a special thanks to their wonderful students and instructors who have brought light into a dark time.