Jamie’s Painting & Design – Kids Art Classes in El Dorado Hills, CA
Over the past several years there have been continuous cuts to funding for elementary and middle school curriculum. Subjects like Art have been pushed to the back of the line when it comes to the importance of our children’s educational development.
A Love for Teaching Art to Children
Upon moving to El Dorado Hills, and wanting to get to know here new community, Jamie Risdon Lentzner volunteered to teach some project based art activities in her daughter’s 4th and 5th grade classes. What she found was a bunch of creative and talented children who were looking for an outlet to express themselves. Jamie found this as opportunity to reinvent her business and to do something she truly enjoys doing – teaching art to children.
“I realize that the schools in El Dorado Hills do the best they can with their budgets and art supplies but I do not think it is enough. Children need art, it is a very important part of their education. They also need to know that there are more artists than Van Gogh, Picasso & Monet. Children also need to use different art mediums, not just paint and paper.”
Three years ago Jamie convinced her husband and father to build an actual studio in her family garage
Her vision was to develop classes focused on a particular artist (i.e. Wayne Thiebaud, a local Sacramento artist), or a popular theme (i.e. Star Wars), and then help her students realize the beauty of creating their very own artwork. She started in September of 2013 with only two classes and a handful of students. By mostly word of mouth she has grown the business to include a second art teacher, classes offered almost daily and teaching enrichment classes with three different Charter Schools covering El Dorado, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties.
“Going back to when my son was just starting pre-school school I would have one of my best friends come over with her daughters and I would teach them an art. As the children got older our projects got more advanced. I always had in the back of my mind that I would work with children and art”
Today, when Jamie is not driving to her Charter School classes, you will find her and Tara Wister teaching their students about famous and not so famous artists.
Sometimes the students may study a sculptor, a modern artist, a Disney animator or even a costume designer. Nothing is off limits in her classes….except for teaching the same art projects year after year….that does not happen. Each year she takes great effort to find new artists, create original projects and make sure her students learn to use as many different techniques and mediums available. When teaching younger students, they are taught to use her “art tricks” or “art secrets” so that they don’t feel like itis burden.
“My greatest joy is when a student runs out of the studio to show their parent their project, the pride they take in their art well worth the time I put into developing my classes.”
Jamie is not new to the world of running a business, she founded Jamie’s Painting & Design in 2002 shortly after her daughter was born. After searching for theme based letters to hang in her daughters’ room and not finding them she decided to create them herself. She painted her daughter’s name out on 4 x 4 ceramic tiles, had her husband drill holes, purchased ribbon and hung them in her nursery. After numerous friends and family started requesting her to make them for their children she realized she might have a business. She quickly expanded the business to include ceramic birth certificates, name plaques, ornaments, and even plates.
For years her personalized ceramic wall-decor was sold online, in bedding catalogs, and in brick & mortar stores around the country.
Sadly, when the economy took a downturn back in 2008 a number of her partners shut their doors while for others their business became a part-time project. By 2013 she shutdown personalized ceramic wall décor manufacturing part of her business to focus 100% of her attention to teaching art.
“I have been drawing since I can remember, never has there been a time in my life when I was not creating art. I don’t know what I would do if I could not be express my creativity with art, it’s in my DNA. When I was a child the worst punishment they could do was take away my art supplies, when that happened I knew I was in trouble.”
For more information about Jamie and her classes visit www.jamiespnd.com