When Julie Horowitz-Jackson and her husband, Donald (DJ) Jackson, started looking around for art classes for their son, they could not find what they wanted. Artists themselves, they decided to open their own studio in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. For the past six months, the couple has been nourishing and inspiring young artists at Color Wheel Studio.
They offer classes for children 2-12. From color combinations to different media, kids never create the same thing twice. Students are divided into groups based on age and ability so everyone can feel successful.
On a recent afternoon, my 5-year-old learned about primary and secondary colors by identifying sample boards. Then it was on to painting, where he could put the lesson into practice. He loved blending, both on his painting and on the palette. The studio provides students with various size brushes and encourages experimentation. Best of all, at the end, he was able to use a mini-hair dryer to "set" his picture for carrying home.
My two older sons were given the chance to work on still-life drawing with charcoal. Jackson reminded them there's no such thing as "wrong" in art. Erasing, blending and re-drawing were all part of the final product. While he was quick with praise, Jackson wasn't afraid to suggest strategies. My sons could appreciate the differences between their first drafts and the final versions they brought home.
Color Wheel offers open studio time and parties. Parents will find a space in back filled with art books and seating.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.