New art studio offers experiences in creativity | News, Sports, Jobs

1 / 3

Us and Art offers lessons as well as art experiences and adventures in Pleasant Grove.

Courtesy Us and Art

2 / 3

Us and Art offers lessons as well as art experiences and adventures in Pleasant Grove.

Courtesy Us and Art

3 / 3

Emily Hammerstad stands outside of her new art studio in Pleasant Grove.

Courtesy Us and Art

For a new art studio in Pleasant Grove, the focus is all about creativity, not the final product. Us and Art, 44 S. Main St., which opened five weeks ago, is set in the historic downtown area of the city and offers art courses, one-time classes, special events and art adventures.

“It is an all-ages art studio. We have courses that are nine weeks in the summer and 12 weeks in the fall. We have day camps and date nights,” said owner Emily Hammerstad. Date nights are themed, like 80s Night or Queen’s Tea and the courses are for all ages, from the “Mommy and Me” classes which are designed for children 18 months to 108 years, she said.

“We also partner with the chocolate shop next store to do an edible paint night. They have a canvas that is an actual chocolate bar and they paint with edible paints and they paint a masterpiece and then they get to eat it,” Hammerstad said. “On Saturdays, it’s usually couples or girls’ night out. Fridays are our family theme nights, like daddy-daughter date or the whole family.”

Patrons can also take part in one of the store’s art adventures. Participants go with instructors out of the studio to a different location, whether it’s a hike to a waterfall or down to a park. They carry pochade boxes that include paints, drawing utensils, a canvas and a portable easel. The boxes are supplied by the studio. The creating of the art is integrated into the outdoor experience.

“All of our activities are focused on creativity, rather than technique. We want to focus on that skill and it’s okay to make mistakes. You’re just there to connect with the piece and have fun,” Hammerstad said.

One of the biggest changes that Hammerstad sees in her students is confidence. “Some come in and are so nervous and barely talk to us. By the end, they are chatting and connecting with all of the students. We keep the classes smaller to keep that human-to-human connection,” she said.

Before opening Us and Art, Hammerstad ran a studio out of her house for years, something she called a fun side project. “But, I was getting waitlists and eventually, even had people who were reaching out for jobs. I had college-degree people reaching out and wanted to come and work for me,” she said. “I recognized that there was a need in our community to have more access to using creativity.”

Hammerstad said that she does not have an art degree, but she is extremely passionate about creativity. She enjoys learning about psychology and is fascinated by the effects creativity can have on the human body.

The name of the studio, “Us and Art” comes from what Hammerstad used to call her home studio.

“When I first started, I was just joking around with my husband and I said, ‘I’m going to call it Unicorns Sprinkles and Art.’ He said, ‘Why not?’ We kept that name for a while,” Hammerstad said. “As I started growing and being able to expand for older kids and adults, we shortened the name. We also thought it really incorporated fully how we feel about art – that it is all of us.”

The location of the new studio is perfect, according to Hammerstad. She was searching for a space before the COVID-19 pandemic, but couldn’t find the right one. Then, this spot became available. “It’s amazing to be right in the heart of the city. We have had so many people who have stopped in and said they can’t believe we’re here.”

More information can be found on their website,


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.