Exploring the Eden Prairie Art Center

Twin Cities denizens are proud of our lively and thriving arts scene. We talk it up with newcomers and show it off when we have out-of-town guests. But, did you know we have our own artistic gem – hidden in plain sight – right here in Eden Prairie? It’s the Eden Prairie Art Center, located at 7650 Equitable Drive.

The Eden Prairie Art Center opened in the spring of 2009 with a mission to “foster creativity in the community.” It has been doing that and more for the past nine years.

It’s the single biggest gift ever given to the City of Eden Prairie. Late resident Richard Samson’s family donated the building for the Art Center in 2007. After retiring from a successful business career in the late 1980’s, Samson asked an architect friend to help him design and build an art studio. Samson used the studio and generously shared it his friends and other members of the community until his death in 2006. 

Kristen Doherty and Jes Schrom, both friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about art and its benefits, lead the center. They believe everyone should have the chance to experience, experiment with and enjoy art. You can feel their excitement when you walk in the door and it’s easy to see why. Our very own, not-so-hidden gem has a lot to offer and it’s different than other art centers.

High-quality instruction in a welcoming, open environment. Beginners are encouraged. Failure is embraced. “Try it” is their mantra. Talented instructors with the credentials to back it up teach a wide range of classes in drawing, painting, jewelry, clay, glass, and more. You can start as a toddler and continue taking classes for the rest of your life. 

Open studio. Open time in the studio is usually limited to those currently enrolled in a program/class. At the Art Center, the only pre-requisite is to complete one class prior to using.  After that, you are able to take advantage of the 25 hours of open studio time offered each week. 

Flexible. There are advantages to being small, nimble and community-focused. Kristen and Jen welcome all feedback and suggestions. “We need to know what people want and then figure out how to make it happen.” 

To paraphrase Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, sometimes what you are looking for has been in your own backyard the entire time. Do yourself a favor by checking out the website edenprairieorg/artcenter and planning a visit to the Eden Prairie Art Center.




Special Events at the Art Center 


 Arts in the Park- big festival highlighting artists in May 

Rotating Public Sculpture Project –three on loan until April 2019 and located throughout the city- can you find them? (hint: Purgatory Creek Park, Outdoor Center, Art Center)

Kid & adult birthday parties, customized workshops and more 


New (Starting February 2019)

Happy hour at the Art Center – CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar provides the appetizers, you bring the drinks. An instructor is on hand, and you leave with a completed art project. 

Adult field trips – An art instructor leads groups to various metro area destinations, stimulating conversation guaranteed