Bass Lake Bum Art Studio Hosts Creative Workshops For Locals

Photography Provided by Bass Lake Bum Art Studio

There are two things Tabitha Dillner, owner of Bass Lake Bum Art Studio located at 5440 South County Road 210 in Knox, has a long-standing love and interest in. One is producing arts and crafts, and the other is the Bass Lake area. She has found a way to combine both her interests in a way that brings enjoyment to the community.

“I was born and raised at Bass Lake,” Dillner says. “My parents met and married there as well. After high school, I left to live in Chicago, but during the 12 years I was gone, I visited the lake often. We joked that we weren’t ‘Beach Bums’ but ‘Bass Lake Bums.’”

Before she returned in 2010, she started her website BassLakeBum.com as a blog musing about how she could find a way to move back to the lake as her full-time home. Meanwhile, each year at holiday gatherings, Dillner would provide a craft for the entire family to do together.

“I’ve always enjoyed arts and crafts and there’s never been a time when I didn’t do it,” she says. “One year, I was looking for something different to do with the family, and we decided to each paint a specific picture together. Everyone loved it and they suggested I should go out and teach classes to the public.”

Dillner began to hold Canvas and Beyond style art classes and the idea took off. Today, she hosts classes and parties for birthdays or family reunions throughout Marshall and Starke Counties but she will travel as far as Fulton and Pulaski Counties. She offers many varied projects that all ages can enjoy. The cost ranges between $5 to $40 and depends on the size of what is being painted within a typical two-hour time period.

“If paint can go on something then it’s an option,” she says. “I’ve hosted classes where people have done welcome mats, wine glasses, windows, wood signs, rocks and shells. My instruction is step-by-step and sometimes I use stencils so all ages can enjoy the experience. I’ve had toddlers all the way to a 92-year-old.”

People can prepay and register for, in addition to viewing, what will be painted in upcoming classes on her website. Events this spring will include painting an eight-by-ten canvas at the North Judson Library on Tuesdays at 4 pm on May 14 and June 11. Dillner will also be at the Plymouth Library on Saturdays May 18 and June 15 at 9 am. Cost of each of these library hosted classes is $10 per participant.

Besides traveling around the area, Dillner reaches and benefits residents in other ways. By request, she will create custom pieces such as personalized signs or murals. She also devotes time to organizations such as the Starke County Youth Club. Recently, Dillner held an event at Sporty’z Grill and Bar in Knox to raise money for the Bass Lake Festival. One of the festival’s happenings will be Bass Lake & Canvas led by Dillner on Friday, July 26 from 7 to 9 pm. It is for all ages and experiences levels and costs $20 for all supplies plus food and drinks. Preregistration is required.

“The best part about the classes I teach is the fun everyone has,” Dillner says. “There is constant laughter and everyone’s art comes out different. That’s what makes it great.”

Visit BassLakeBum.com for information about upcoming events and classes.