It All Started when she opened the door....
She was somewhat shy when she walked in towards my office. She was very soft spoken and told me that she had just met another mom at their children’s school in Matawan. They were discussing their boys' activities and interests in art. All three of Kelly’s sons came here to summer art camp over the years years and also had a birthday party here at the studio. Kelly told her to come directly to Artisan where her child would most likely be accepted with open arms.
There he stood, six years old, shy and clinging to his mom, his kind, dark almond shaped eyes looking at me with wonder through his glasses. I had worked with children with other disabilities and conditions, but not his. She felt secure with my instincts and enrolled him in camp and we had a great summer of progress and productivity. He felt secure and became more responsive. His ability to follow directions increased, he was making greater efforts and smiled quite often. It was so rewarding and I was so proud of him. It was then that I fell in love with this sweet boy with Down Syndrome.
Little did any of us know that a beautiful journey was waiting ahead, lasting 10 years now, and no end in sight.
Mom has become one of my dearest friends and Srikar continues to amaze me. I was thrilled to have been invited to his middle school graduation two years ago. I have also gone to his horseback riding presentations and seeing him win his medals. There have been some acting and musical performances and more wonderful things are ahead for this young man. Two more years and then high school graduation. I will be there too.
This school year will involve private lessons as his schedule is very full after school to attend group classes. I will always find a time and place for Srikar. His work and skill set will progress even further as his passion for art endures.
He is the angel and inspiration behind my interest and joy in working with children and adults with special needs. I have created programs that adapt to the individual’s’s abilities coupled with caring and kindness. That mixture is provided by my exceptionally kind, patient and nurturing staff as well.
We offer parties and other events for those who love art, or just looking to be with friends and enjoy meeting new friends in other social circles. We love seeing the passion and excitement that permeates the room…. and of course the joy and smiles on the faces!
CONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNITIES
We highly respect and value the purpose, benefit and need for art education. Art is a cultural necessity and huge part of our humanity. Like music and dance, art is also a means of communication for those who feel free in a visual format.
At Artisan, we do all we can to develop creative thinking, self expression and technical knowledge. We take pride in helping our students succeed to meet (and most often exceed) their goals: personal enjoyment, relaxation and stress relief, or specific skills for employment or education. During the past several years we have reached out to extend our services to both children and adults with special needs.
We welcome and are pleased to include children and adults with Down syndrome, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, visual perceptual and visual motor deficits. When possible they are included in our weekly classes, otherwise they can attend private classes where they can receive more assistance and guidance. Art can be extremely therapeutic for strengthening fingers and hands, enhance hand-eye coordination, attention to details, increasing patience through step by step processes and more. We often receive comments from parents noticing improved handwriting and neatness in homework. Most importantly we make art a very positive experience which helps increase confidence and self esteem.
Some of our students are young adults, ages 20 and up, who have aged out of the school systems looking for an enrichment activity. Our programs can be tailored to combine academic related subjects such as spelling, math and creative writing using various artistic mediums. The results are very positive because they are created in a very inspiring and stress-free atmosphere.
We are so excited to offer our newest venue sure to create more smiles. We have been in communication with parents and caretakers who expressed their interest in our programs. Many parents are unable to bring their child to our studio during the week, so Saturday afternoon can be the perfect solution (2:00 - 5:00 pm). Socials will be scheduled as any other party. Once scheduled, dates to be posted on this site. Attend as many as you wish, registrations and payments are processed online. Registration will close on the Wednesday prior to the event. Minimum of 10 attendees required for each event. Limited to 25 attendees per event, first come, first served.
Nut-free snacks and beverages will be provided by parents, chosen from food list to avoid duplication. If attendee requires a restricted diet, please provide the suitable items. We will send out a survey to establish a base list of items such as munchies, dips, veggies, cookies, etc. to be enjoyed by our attendees. The list will be emailed to all and returned to all with the suggestions .
Table cover, plates, cups, napkins, utensils and bottled water will be provided by Artisan.
Cost $35 Includes all supplies, creative instruction by professional artists and 3 hours of fun and socializing
Social will happily conclude with a finished fine art or craft project to be taken home and proudly displayed!