That’s basically the thinking behind the Jewish Community Center’s new offering, “Art to Art,” being taught by city resident Erin Kachmar.
The class flyer promises that the 7- to 13-year-old enrollees will “Go from Crayolas to watercolors as you learn about a wide array of styles and techniques that can help you express yourself.”
An arts and crafts class this is not.
“There is no crafting at all. It’s strictly fine art, studio art,” said the Willow Street resident. “We’ll be working with graphics, acrylic paints, and watercolors. We’ll be doing sculpture. We’ll be doing this one cool lesson, ‘Painting the Master,’ where the students will be able to pick say, Van Gogh, and do his own rendition of say, ‘Starry Night.’ That’s a good way to learn painting.”
Engendering each student’s own personal flair is the gist of this endeavor.
“As an adult, we lose some of our childlike imagery in our minds,” Kachmar said. “What I believe is if you give children those ages the tools to express themselves you get an amazing outcome. My whole purpose in all this is to really bring out the artist in the young artist.”
And while the children in the class are young, Kachmar is all about giving them the independence they need to grow in their artwork.
“It’s structured, but once the students learn the fundamentals we’re using, they’ll be able to just go with it on things they want to create,” she said.
What makes Kachmar most happy about teaching this class?
“I think my favorite thing is the element of surprise. That gives me the most satisfaction,” she said. “They will surprise you at that age with the paintings and some projects they do. I think people don’t give children enough credit.”
Kachmar said she’s hopeful the center will have an art show or exhibit at season’s end to showcase the students’ works.
“Art to Art” will begin on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m., and will feature six one-hour classes. Class size is limited to 15 students. (Registration will be extended until Jan. 23 if the 15 slots are not filled.) The cost is $85 for JCC members and $100 for non-members.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.