Sandra Sabene grew up in the art industry (her mother and grandfather were both artists and she attended a lot of shows), so opening a gallery felt natural to her.

In 2002, she established the Liverpool Art Center, initially envisioned as space to showcase the work of more than 50 local artists.

“It was fairly easy to open up a gallery, but the customers coming in were asking me about art education – learning to paint, learning different mediums,” said Sabene. “They were enjoying the artwork, but they really wanted to express themselves. So, within a year of opening, I transitioned into art education. Some of the students that began that year are actually still with me today.”

The Liverpool Art Center has something for every age group. The main option for adults is ongoing art classes, held once or twice each week, where students are able to choose their medium and set their own pace – and you can try one out before committing to a membership!

“It’s not a studio program, but they’re really getting hands-on help,” said Sabene. “We’re fostering community within any one of our programs, whether they’re youth, tweens, teens, or adults, and it’s a very particular way of creating space and running a program that’s a little more intuitive than curriculum based.”

On one Friday each month, the Liverpool Art Center also hosts a drum circle; it’s the longest-running event of its kind in the area.

“One thing that I love to share is that art is often misunderstand as a skill or something that you need to learn to be able to enjoy,” said Sabene. “All of our programs are geared towards dissolving that misunderstanding because self-expression through art is a way that we can just take a few minutes, take a breath, relax, meet some people and feel a little bit differently (hopefully a little bit better) after just a little while in that space, which really is amazing for lowering stress, melting anxiety, and helping us all connect on a deeper level.”

If You Go
Liverpool Art Center

Where: 305 Vine St., Liverpool.
More information:


Courtney Kless is the Editor in Chief of Family Times. Courtney is originally from Maryland. She earned her Master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from Syracuse University. Courtney began her career as a sports journalist, then spent several years working in higher education, before joining the company in August 2019. She enjoys traveling, reading and hiking, and recently adopted a Labrador Retriever, Bailey.

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