By Andrea Milam, Special Contributor to News of St. John
There’s no shortage of natural beauty on St. John; that much is clear. But what is there to do when that natural beauty is dampened by rain, or when you need a respite from the blazing Caribbean sun?
Head to the tranquil East End and create some beauty of your own at one of well-known St. John artist Sloop Jones’ Shirt of Art workshops, held right at Sloop’s studio.
In honor of his 25 years in business, Sloop recently kicked off this series of workshops, where guests are welcomed into his studio and taught to embrace their inner artist while learning about color and making their own hand-painted clothing using Sloop’s own tools.
Frequent Shirt of Art students John and Susan Dawson, who live on St. Thomas and in Utah and have been customers of Sloop’s for nearly his entire 25 years on St. John, rely on the workshops to entertain their island visitors.
The word has gotten out among their friends and family, and those who haven’t visited recently are already asking to go to a Shirt of Art workshop on their next visit.
“We’ve got people like my nephew who heard about Sloop’s workshop from previous guests, and he says it’s a must-do for his next visit,” says Susan. “Our guests are loving it.”
As frequent students of the workshop, John and Susan have been pleased to find variety in each lesson they attend.
“The format has changed a little bit every time we’ve been there,” says John. “I don’t find it repetitive at all. They’re not just cookie cutter workshops; they’re tailored to the people who come and their interests.”
And as the Dawsons fill their home with hand-painted polos shirts, welcome mats, cushions, and more, Sloop is effectively passing on his skills to the next generation of artists.
“I invite everyone to spend a morning of creative discovery coloring inside and outside the lines,” says Sloop.
To learn more about Sloop Jones and his workshops, please visit www.SloopJones.com
Andrea Milam is a freelance writer and communications specialist who has lived on St. John since 2005. You can learn more about her by visiting www.AndreaMilam.com