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Windows Art Gallery offers safe fun for summer and beyond

The Windows Art Gallery has been a fixture on Main Street in Putnam for two years, come September. Before that, owner Theresa LaCasse ran a mobile paint party business. LeCasse is also an RN.

The Windows Art Gallery has adapted safety procedures to provide safe programming during COVID.

"My business has been built serving groups of people as they took classes and had fun parties in arts, crafts, sewing, leather, painting, quilting, candle and soap making," said LeCasse. Since COVID, the business has been shut down for groups.

Windows Art Gallery owner Theresa LeCasse is addressing safety concerns to provide programming during COVID.

LeCasse's own artwork is on display at the gallery, along with the art of others.

"Currently I have the artwork up of one of our local senior citizens who lives in Tolland," she said. Gertruda Kondak "Has a fascinating story to tell of starting painting after age 80," said LeCasse.

LeCasse said she is fortunate to still be open by offering online classes to adults and children through Zoom technology.

"This month I resumed summer camp for kids with a drastically-reduced group of only two children--one being my niece," she said. LeCasse feels that children are very anxious to safely interact.

"I am providing a socially-distanced fun time two kids at a time," she said.

LeCasse said she also teaches a special art class to the summer camp program in Putnam, and they are outside using safe distances combined with ramped-up cleaning.

"Any client coming through my studio uses only their own tools and supplies, that then get sanitized according to CDC guidelines," said LeCasse. Recently, she resumed small paint parties outside on Main Street in Putnam.

Pre-COVID, a group shows off paintings done at Putnam's Windows Art Gallery. The gallery hosts interactive art activities and has adapted programs to address COVID-related concerns.

LeCasse also runs a small nonprofit out of the Windows studio. Called Red Cord MInistries, the goal of the nonprofit is to reach women who need individual help and mentoring to overcome difficult life circumstances.

"We would really like to own a building in downtown Putnam where we could provide life-altering services that will help them live full productive lives," said LeCasse.

LeCasse's kids' camp welcomes children ages 9 through 15, and encompasses activities such as fishing in the river, visiting other stores in town for planned experiences, and working on special projects involving leather, soap, candles, sewing, quilting,painting, drawing, bead work, and anything else that the students are interested in.

Call LeCasse at 860-382-5095 for more information or to sign a child up.

Also check out LeCasse's website, www.windowscompany.online. She is offering online kids' classes at 1:30 and 4 p.m. daily. Some of them are free and can be found on Eventbrite under Windows Art Gallery.

"I teach painting, drawing, a little sewing and some knitting online," said LeCasse.

In the fall, LeCasse plans to advertise for 12 spaces where students can receive in-studio classes, either coordinated through their public school or through a home school program.

"This is going to assist parents who need to return to work and prefer their kids to be in a smaller atmosphere till this pandemic passes," she said.

LeCasse will also be offering services for managing kids' online education, for kids who are going to stay at home and utilize their public school's online options. The Art Gallery will have two teachers on staff to manage up to 25 kids in an online platform.

"Both programs will heavily allow students to pick special interests, and pursue them fully for the school year 20/21," said LeCasse.

Contact LeCasse at 860-382-5095, through the Windows Art Gallery website, or through Facebook.

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