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Affordable art classes offered downtown

The 567 Center for Renewal hosts inexpensive art classes for the community. Photo by Elizabeth Daniels.
The 567 Center for Renewal hosts inexpensive art classes for the community. Photo by Elizabeth Daniels.

If school has you stressed and you find your mind is in need of some “renewal”, consider spending an evening downtown at the 567 Center for Renewal for an inexpensive, relaxing art class.

The center was started eight years ago when the New City Church discovered they’d outgrown their usual gathering place at the Cox Capitol Theatre.

Melissa Macker, the executive director, said she doesn’t like to call herself the founder because the center was a result of many volunteers’ ideas and hard work.

“The pastor of New City Church used the theatre as a place for bands to come and play and for artists to come and show their work,” Melissa said. “But as the center grew more popular, the Capitol Theatre was not big enough to hold everyone, so the pastor started looking for other places to host his group.”

This was when the 567 Center for Renewal was reborn, the name originating from when the New City Church rented out the 567 Cafe on Cherry Street to host the artists and bands.

“The renewal part of the name comes from our mission of wanting to ‘renew’ Macon. We wanted to help revitalize the previously vibrant art scene,” Macker said.

After six years, the business moved to yet another building as they continued to grow, and they are currently located at 533 Cherry St.

“We kept the name because everyone just calls us “the 567” for short,” Macker said.

The 567 Center for Renewal sells work offered by professional artists and photographers, but also teach small art classes three to seven times a week.

“It’s a part of revitalizing the scene,” Macker said. “We showcase mostly local talent and occasionally national talent. By hosting art classes we’re also inspiring new talent and helping artists thrive.”

Most classes range from $25-$28. Attendees are charged a one-time fee.

“It’s meant to be fun and relaxing,” Macker said. “Just come down when you want to or need to and have a good time.”

Some of the classes they have offered before include “Coffee and Canvas” (coffee provided), and “Watercolor and Wine”, where the wine isn’t provided, but attendees are free to bring their own.

“Our most popular (event) is definitely Corks and Canvas, which is another sip and paint. It’s hosted every week and anyone over 18 can come and feel free to sip sparkling apple juice,” Macker said.

While at the 567, patrons can also purchase artwork made by professional artists such as homemade pottery shot glasses, post-cards, sculptures, and, of course, paintings.

If you want something cute to hold your warm drinks in this fall, the 567 will hold a four-week-long “Make a Mug” class where all material is provided and you simply make your own mug with full access to the studio.

“It’s $100 and you get to take your time and truly learn with all supplies provided. Students leave feeling confident and holding their very own pieces with beautiful art and glazes,” Macker said.

There’s also a pottery studio for general creation where students can enter the studio anytime and use the supplies. This access costs $40 a month.

“We also have our First Friday celebration like the rest of downtown Macon. That’s when we showcase our new exhibits. It’s free to attend,” Macker said.

On Nov. 3, be sure to stop by from 6-9 p.m. to check out Martha Lynn Fortson’s abstract painting showcase.

If you’re interested but can’t make it to any upcoming events, be sure to check out the center’s website at and follow them on Facebook at the 567 Center for Renewal.

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