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
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
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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