SHERMAN OAKS—KidsArt just celebrated their 30th anniversary in June and has been selected as one of the top five art schools in the nation for the Disney Motif Award with the award ceremony set to take place on September 11. Executive Director and daughter of founders Ed and Sher Warren, Anna Sheklow, granted Canyon News an interview to discuss their art school and the upcoming awards ceremony.
Sheklow told Canyon News that KidsArt started as an after school program at the private school Ed Warren taught at. Ed Warren has a Master’s degree in art and after one parent suggested to Ed and Sher Warren that they should open their own studio, they thought it would be a fantastic idea. Now, 30 years later, the studio has expanded into 14 locations in Southern and Northern California, and one location in Seattle, Washington. It is still a family run business including Ed and Sher Warren, and their two daughters Anna and Rachael.
“Our whole philosophy is that creativity follows mastery,” Sheklow told Canyon News. “We can teach our students the fundamentals of fine arts drawing.”
Sheklow said anyone can learn to draw regardless of age, whether they are four years old or 84. She says drawing is just like any other art form that can be learned and their website emphasizes that the program can strengthen confidence which can lessen frustration. The school’s curriculum teaches students realistic drawing and painting including still-life, figure, landscape, portraiture, cartooning and animation.
“They bring in an image, we break it down into basic shapes, and we put it back together as a whole,” Sheklow told Canyon News. “We are really teaching students to see in a different way.”
Students are taught on an individual basis, in tune with their skill level and interest level with the curriculum designed more like an apprenticeship program. During the year-round program, students can start the program at any time with teachers who love the work they are doing. The students start off drawing and then move onto painting with the goal after years of practice being that students will be able to eventually create their own masterpieces.
KidsArt also offers seasonal workshops and summer camps that focus on special interests like anime drawing, creature creation, and clay artworks. Coming up this year are seasonal fall and winter workshops. Sheklow told Canyon News that in the fall there will be a Halloween and “Christmas Nightmare” themed workshops. In the winter, there are holiday themed workshops where kids can create artworks that their parents will be able to display at home for the holidays.
A local upcoming event is the art show at Claudine Artisan Kitchen and Bakeshop in Encino on October 15. This art show will feature artworks from students from the Sherman Oaks and Tarzana KidsArt locations. The students’ artworks will be displayed and family and friends can come enjoy and view the students’ artworks.
On Sunday, September 11, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, KidsArt will be in the ceremony for the Disney Motif awards. KidsArt has been selected as in the top five art schools in the nation, and Ed and Sher Warren and all other executives will be in attendance for the ceremony. KidsArt had also asked 30 students, three students from each studio, to submit artwork for the event. The students and their parents will be able to attend the reception and the awards ceremony.
“It’s been really exciting that this little mom and pop art school has been awarded a national award,” Sheklow told Canyon News. “We’re very honored.”
KidsArt is open to anyone age four and older. For more information visit http://www.kidsartclasses.com/.