Raising a Mug to Support the Art Explorers

Art Explorers

Frank Van Curen, Art Explorer and Paul Katzeff, CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee

“I love doing art because until recently I had never done it before. It makes me feel really good. It makes me happy because I love learning new things.”

“Doing art calms me down. I feel happy while I’m planning a design and working on my pictures.”

“Art makes me feel calm…art makes life better.”

“When I do my art I feel calm and like I’m experiencing what I think in my mind and throwing it onto the paper. The colors came from my brain and from nature. God gave me my talent and a giant heart that can love and do art and do other things.”

“Art is both relaxing and exciting. It makes me feel good about myself.”

“I like to spend a long time working on my portraits, often for weeks, even months. Sometimes I wake up in the night and plan what I’m going to do when I get to Art Explorers.”


If you haven’t taken the time to stop by and meet the artists at the Art Explorers Studio and Gallery, then you are missing out on one of the great hidden treasures of downtown Fort Bragg.

Art Explorers has been supporting artists with mental disabilities since 1996, providing a safe space for them to express themselves and find peace of mind with the stoke of a paint brush.

Last weekend, the Art Explorers celebrated a new ceramics show in Town Hall in collaboration with their artist in residence, Sabine Brunner of the Little Cup ceramics studio. A departure from their usual work, the artists got to enjoy expressing themselves in ceramics with hand made sculptures and painted mugs. And what goes perfectly with a new, one of a kind hand painted mug? Why, a fresh cup of coffee of course! Which is why the event also debuted a new fundraiser for the Art Explorers program: Thanksgiving Coffee.

Showcasing the artwork of 5 current Art Explorers, each bag label shares the story of the artist who created it. As the program grows, the work of more artists will have the opportunity to grace the front labels, highlighting the incredible talent of our local artists.

Packages of Art Explorers Coffee, dark roast and decaf, are currently available for purchase at the studio, online, or at special events. Each bag sold supports the artists and staff members of the Art Explorers program, and with 5 different labels to choose from, you’ll want to collect them all!

So take the time to stop on by the studio at 305 E. Redwood Ave (Tues. Thurs. + Fri. 9:00am – 3:00pm, Saturday 12:00pm – 3:00pm) and meet the artists, maybe buy a painting or some greeting cards, and pick up a bag of truly beautiful and one of a kind Art Explorers Coffee.

Learn more: www.artexplorers.org

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