We are asked all the time how and why we started Little Art House. The short answer: every person is an artist and art enhances our lives! The longer answer involves our memories of childhood, personal school experiences, and career choices along the way.
Teaching art in Nashville public schools was an amazing experience for both of us. Each year, we enjoyed getting to know nearly 180 students from all sorts of backgrounds and showing them all the wonderful things about art. We also enjoyed the opportunities for our students at the inspiring art institutions we have in Nashville like Cheekwood and the Frist Center for Visual Arts. After we both spent time teaching extracurricular art classes outside the school system that we realized Nashville was missing something: Little Art House!
Our biggest inspiration came from classes our mom used to host in the fellowship hall of a church around the corner from our house. The projects she planned were always colorful, imaginative, and fun – all characteristics of a great lesson that we try to keep in mind when we plan our lessons now. Oversized paper mache flowers we created in those classes still hang in the upstairs hallway of our childhood home, and seeing them takes us back to those early days. Over the holidays a few years ago, those flowers sparked a conversation between us and we realized Nashville had a need for classes like our mom’s: small classes with a focus on exploring, imagining, and creating where every participant can succeed. Both of us had spent years teaching in various public school classrooms and other art studios, but none of them provided the same feeling we had growing up. We knew we wanted to create a place where kids and adults alike could feel the magic we did in our mom’s classes.
Though we’re not in a house, we intentionally choose small spaces, first on Music Row and now in Hillsboro Village. Small classes are important in order for every participant to get to work directly with the teacher. Everyday we get so excited to plan projects with exploration and imagination in mind just like our mom planned for us. And we love finding fellow artists with similar mindsets to come and teach our adult classes. It is such a joy to have a full schedule for artists of all ages to create in what we hope is a safe and inspiring space.