Art Time Party Logo Art Time Class

Let's be Friends

The Freedom to Create Review
by: Lauren Pohl

Art students in the SA area are given free roam to express themselves.
An energizing hue of vibrant colors paints the typically still and serene Bulverde/Spring Branch Public Library on Saturday, January the 14th during the Opening Reception of the Art Time program exhibit. The environment is alive and bustling with excited children pulling Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles around in all different directions towards the artwork displayed along the exhibit walls. Students from schools in the San Antonio area of all different ages proudly wear a ribbon of green and gold upon their chests; Rewards for the hard work and dedication that went into the pieces of art that now fill the Children's section of the library for everyone to see.

Every piece of artwork that you see displayed along the walls and filling the area of the typically spacious Children's section is a finished product of what originally was nothing more than an idea that had popped into a child's head while attending "Art &Science " summer camps and Art Time sessions. These ideas very well may have remained only vivid in thought until Art Time Founder Liliya Colston offered just enough guidance to help the many students who have attended Art Time classes for years to find the way to express the creative side of them that's been there all along. Introducing her students of all different ages to both the basic and the more advanced art techniques is only the start of the lessons that will be of use not only in the art classes, but also in day-to-day situations that we all will face, no matter what age we may be.

There is not one piece of artwork on display that is similar to another at the Art Time Exhibition. Even the titles of artwork stand out just as much as the pieces themselves. "Illusive" is one of the titles that catches the eye, one that is actually named after the 6-year old Art Time student's horse that he creatively depicts on a grassy hilltop setting, and you can almost feel the wind as it is visualized with brushstrokes of tea, rather than paint, in an after school program. A Timberwood Park Elementary student's "Detective Chicken" definitely speaks for itself; A drawing of a chicken with a petticoat, magnifying glass and even a large tobacco pipe channels Sherlock Holmes to a "T". Her proud father eagerly points this out and with a laugh, says he has a copy displayed in his office at work. "This is definitely a favorite among me and my coworkers."

Of all the proud young artists at the exhibit, even more proud are their parents who have come along to the exhibit's Grand Opening. "My daughter has always had an interest in art. She's always doodled and loves painting, but going to Art Time classes hasn't just sparked her creative side, she's also opened up socially and she's not nearly as shy anymore. She's learned a lot about herself and I feel like that's made her much more confident." explains the Mother of 2 young artists that attend Art Time's programs for Home-Schoolers that Liliya also offers.

"Colston teaches the kids so much more than just how to paint with watercolors; She shows them that everything doesn't have to be what it seems. A tree doesn't have to have green leaves and brown bark. It can be purple and orange, or round and upside down, if they would like it to be. They're learning that Art gives you free roam."

The Freedom that Art gives a child is only one of the many benefits they receive when they attend classes with Miss Liliya. Art develops creative thinking and provides a means of communication and self-expression. It can be difficult for a young child to put their ideas and feelings into words, and expressing themselves through molding with clay and painting can be easier for them. As children get older, Art can serve as an emotional release as well as giving them a better understanding of themselves and the things around them. Learning to use certain tools in the classroom and waiting in line to clean out paintbrushes at the end of sessions also develops work habits and good manners.

Liliya Colston will be the first to explain how much she has learned and continues to learn since founding Art Time and teaching her students. She puts a lot of effort into making the projects different and exciting, and she also does a lot of research and experimenting on her own time before assigning the class projects. The classes with younger age groups, for example, use a special mixture of clay that is easier for their less experienced hand muscles to mold with. For every project in Art Time sessions, she makes not one but four or more very different examples for the children to see. But the last thing she wants is for a student to copy an exact replica of what she has made. Dictated art, such as coloring books, when assigned to a child can have an incredibly detrimental effect that can last a lifetime. Art Time is all about Creative Expression, and the only platform on which creative expression can be properly taught is by giving students a topic and the guidance and proper materials necessary, and of course, keeping it all as fun as possible.

"I try to always keep the classes fun and the projects unique. It's very important to offer a variety of different materials while teaching creative thinking." explains Liliya. "That's why I use more uncommon materials to work along with the basic materials, like watercolors, tissue paper, charcoal, oil pastels, acrylics, or clay." She repurposes things like foil, CDs, wood, fruits & vegetables, eggshells, rice, tea, plants, and even chocolate to create something completely new. "Wax and rice paper are also some of my most favorite materials to work with. I'm constantly looking for different ways of using things to make them a lot less ordinary." For instance, her students take ordinary Crayons and instead of just using them to draw, they melt them onto a ceramic tile.

"Art Time is all about new ideas. This is the place where every child can learn how to use their creativity to make everything ordinary a lot more exciting. Nothing is what it seems, and you don't have to have to be born with an "artistic gift" to use your brain in that way."

Any kid can walk into Art Time classes without the worries of not being experienced or crafty enough to participate; Liliya Colston encourages any child to come and give it a try. Each weekly class begins with exercises and educational games to get the kids "warmed-up" and jump-start their creative thought process. Once they're geared up and ready to go, the same thinking skills used are then applied directly to the techniques they will be using for that day's project. Classes with younger age groups will have simpler projects, whereas the older age groups will learn to work with different tools and materials for more advanced techniques. Art Time students come in every week without knowing what kind of projects they will be doing that day, so each project is like a surprise. Perhaps that is the very reason why it's so exciting for the kids, and that's probably why more than half of Art students have returned year after year. But no matter what age students may be, they all are given the power to let their creativity take it from there; the children decide exactly how their projects are going to turn out.

Art Time's goal is to show that anybody can be an Artist. Art isn't about sketching something in front of you with perfect shading and even symmetry. Too often do children and adults alike feel compelled to draw inside the lines of life. By learning to look at our surroundings and see beyond what our eyes can, we can discover the fact that nothing is what it seems, and has the potential to be so much more.

When Miss Liliya's students come to class they never know what they may be learning about. Maybe they'll work with wax and create pine tree sculptures that smell just as festive as they look? Or, maybe they'll get to roll up their sleeves and mold clay into their favorite animal? Who knows, that is the wonderful concept of Art that continues to bring Art Time students back every week.

No matter what new and exciting technique these kids will learn about at Art Time, what they do know is that a blank canvas with plenty of room to create will always be available there for them. Free roam with an infinite amount of space to come up with new ideas, scribble out old ones, make mistakes and messes, and, in the end, have the final result of a creation that's different than anyone else's; And that is what Art is really all about.

Art Time Party - Class Link Button Art Time Party - Birthday Party Link Button Art Time Party Photo Gallery Link Button Art Party Summer Camp Link Button Art Time Party Contact Link Button Art Time Party Home Link Button

Art Time Party
North San Antonio/Bulverde/Spring Branch/New Braunfels,Texas
Contact us - Email

Site owned by Art Time Party - all rights reserved 2013.
Initial design by Comfort