Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor pushes forward after coronavirus restrictions cut March opening short

A photo of a young boy holding a painting of a ship
Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor will offer a limited range of small-size classes beginning May 11. (Courtesy Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor)

Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor will offer a limited range of small-size classes beginning May 11. (Courtesy Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor)

Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor opened its newest Southwest Austin location on March 1 only to have to close its doors within two weeks due to COVID-19. In light of Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order allowing many businesses to open at reduced capacity, the fledgling location is ready for a second chance to introduce itself to the community when it reopens May 11.

Like several of Cordovan’s other locations in Round Rock, Cedar Park and Northwest Austin, the Southwest Austin studio will introduce a range of classes May 11 while implementing new health and distancing protocols. Under normal operations, the school offers a broader range of art classes to people of all ages, as well as pottery painting activities. Cordovan did not open as soon as it was legally able, on May 1, to give staff more time to safely prepare.

“We’re thrilled to be open, and we’re thrilled to wait a week to do it right,” Cordovan representative Susan Wilcox said.

Students who register for Cordovan’s classes for children, teens and adults will see smaller class sizes and will not share supplies, Wilcox said. Between classes—which include painting, drawing and pottery, depending on the age group—staff will follow thorough sanitization procedures, according to Wilcox.

While Cordovan’s locations have been closed, the local art school chain has offered free instructional videos online and has lent relevant art supplies to the community so people can follow along from home. Those opportunities will remain, Wilcox said, as locations reopen.

In Southwest Austin in particular, Cordovan hopes the limited reopening will be an opportunity to connect with the community and let residents know about the art school. Having only been able to open for a short time before coronavirus restrictions forced the business to temporarily close, the Southwest Austin spot was not able to follow through on many of its initial opening aspirations.

“It was a word-of-mouth situation where we were just starting to gain momentum,” Wilcox said.

As the school considers the safety of expanding business moving forward, Wilcox said Cordovan has received many inquiries about whether they will host summer camps, which are still up in the air both at Cordovan and many other organizations that typically put on camps.

“We’re anxiously awaiting that news,” Wilcox said. “We feel like there is a great need for summer camps in these areas, but we’ll certainly have to comply with a lot of stringent requirements.”
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.


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