Make Studio offers unique variety of classes for artists of all ages |

Make Studio offers unique variety of classes for artists of all ages

Student Julia Sturges works on a book project during a class at the Make Studio on Tuesday in Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

At Make Studio, owner Christie Stepan has found success in fostering a community of children passionate about art through her summer and after school programs. With her reputation gaining credibility, Stepan is well on her way to opening Make Studio to artists of all ages and crafts.

“Make Studio is becoming a year-round place where people can come and learn something new about art and practice something they love,” said Stepan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in studio arts from Colorado College and a master’s degree in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. “All the instructors at Make Studio are passionate about art and art-making and are excited to share that with the community.”

Last summer, Stepan opened the first Make Studio above Lyon’s Drug, offering a few camps that were successful enough for her to continue offering after-school classes throughout the year. In June, Stepan relocated Make Studio to a larger location on Hilltop Parkway equipped with the tools for printmaking, letterpress, mixed media, drawing, painting and clay.

The summer program has also grown rapidly in attendance during the past year. In its inaugural summer, Make Studio served around 20 kids. This summer, more than 70 kids are signed up for classes. Twenty-one participants ages six to 14 attended last week’s camp alone.

In the fall, Stepan will offer classes for three to five year olds and adults, in addition to six to 14 year olds.

“People are just having fun here and telling their friends about it,” said Stepan. “It’s all been word of mouth, and I’m really happy with the growth of this community who are passionate about art.”

Local glass artist Jennifer Baker heard about Stepan and Make Studio last summer and was impressed by Stepan’s background in art, her work with kids at Elevation Dance and the variety of class offerings.

“One of the things about Christie’s classes is that they’re different every time my daughter goes,” said Baker. “They either build off of something they learned previously or start on a new project. This exposes my daughter to so many types of mediums, especially when Christie asks local artists to come help teach.”

In addition to inviting local artists to teach her classes, Stepan incorporates lessons on other art and artists to supplement those on art techniques.

“What I think makes us unique is that we expose students to contemporary art and artists that are relevant to the projects they’re working on,” Stepan said. “It’s important to be exposed to this type of thought-provoking work, and just exciting to show (kids) that art can be so many different things.”

“As my daughter says, Christie makes makes art fun,” Baker said.

One of the standouts for Gregory Block — a painter and Make Studio instructor who will teach drawing classes this fall — is the studio’s balance between flexibility and affordability.

“She (Stepan) strikes a happy medium for those people who don’t want to shell out as much money for private lessons or commit to a whole semester at college,” said Block, a fellow Colorado College graduate. “You can take classes and still be in an intimate setting where you can focus and have fun.”

Make Studio is located at 1169 Hilltop Parkway, #103B. Space is still available for summer classes for kids ages six to 14. For more information, email

To reach Liz Forster, call 970-871-4374, email or follow her on Twitter @LizMForster

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.