The Heart of Art and Soul
There are few things that I love more than creating art. Teaching art is one of those things, and it’s become my life’s work. There’s just something about watching kids create that inspires me and makes me glad I’m doing what I’m doing. I opened Art and Soul with the idea of helping kids explore their creativity in ways that aren’t always available in school or at home.
From a young age, my art loving mom signed me up for every art class and camp our hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, had to offer. I vividly and fondly remember my instructors, lessons, and memories that came out of them. Whenever I go back to visit Atlanta and see the art my mom saved from thirty years ago, I smile.
Through all my years, I have set out to explore different mediums and styles, allowing myself to explore the full spectrum that art has to offer. It’s by doing and practicing that we figure out what we really like and where our specialties lie. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help children figure out their own art paths.
“Why kids?” you ask. I see myself as a natural when it comes to kids. I think I get it from my parents. My dad coached youth sports his entire life, even before my brother and I were born. My mom was a preschool art teacher for 17 years. Teaching and guiding the youth was always in their blood, and I am lucky that passion found its way to me. I love helping to mold the creative side in young kid, giving them a creative outlet to express themselves through art.
I moved to Fort Worth in August of 2010. My brother, Jake, was a student at TCU, and my uncle owned a land service company. When I came to visit Jake, my uncle offered me a salary I couldn’t refuse, and then, a few years later, I fell in love.
When my stepdaughter, Emery, came into my life, art was something that immediately connected us. At that time, I had been working in the oil and gas industry for a few years, and besides the occasional painting commission, art had all but disappeared from my daily life. It wasn’t until I began creating art with Emery that I was reminded just how passionate I was about it and how much I missed teaching art to kids. She helped relight that inner passion, ultimately pushing me to follow my dreams of opening an art school.
Opening an art school for kids has always been something I’ve considered, but timing always seemed to be off. Then I heard that Van Grow would be closing their doors in 2020. I couldn’t fathom the idea of kids not having a creative outlet in Fort Worth. I thought to myself, I can do that.
Around the same time, a neighbor friend and I were walking to an estate sale when she asked me if I knew where The Welman Project’s new location was going to be. The thought that this huge old building was going to be available, and it was so close to my house – it was fate.
I saw renovating the space as an art project in and of itself. We poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this place, but I knew, that if I could get it looking the way I wanted that I was 100% capable of running a successful and wonderful place where kids could come and create art. It’s just kind of what I was meant to do. Now Art and Soul is space that any creative person would itch to get into. It’s something that I am truly proud of and a place I love walking into every day. It’s a hard place not to fall in love with, and I cannot wait to share it with the community!
I want to help kids create unique pieces of art that are not only fun to create but that the kids will be proud of. When you come to Art and Soul, you know that your child will create something that you wouldn’t get at another art class while having a fun and energetic experience. They will create a mix of unique pieces to keep forever and pieces that are more exploratory. After all, art is more about the process of creating rather than the end result, and I’m happy to help them on their journey!