In 2010, Jacquelyn Graff and Emily Otte were recent college graduates trying to pave their new career paths. While both in search for teaching jobs, they bonded over a mutual love for education, art and children.
Eventually, they realized that their calling was to start a business, and The Art Spark was born. “We decided to open our own children’s art studio after working at a similar business during summer break in college,”
Otte and Graff explain. “We love being able to provide children with lasting memories that instill imagination and creativity into their future endeavors.”
Today, The Art Spark has been providing Cincinnati’s children with a creative outlet for five years. The business has grown to provide different age-targeted programs that encourage problem solving, independence and individual creation. Their offerings include pre-school classes, after school classes, home school classes, birthday parties, summer and winter camps and personalized events.
The Art Spark is a bright spot for children among other academic curriculum. “It’s important that children can feel free to carry out their own ideas and [learn] to problem solve in a creative way that they may not be getting during their school day,” say Otte and Graff. At The Art Spark, every class and camp session begins with a brainstorming session. “This allows the child to contribute their ideas – it’s very exciting and makes a child [gain] self-worth and a sense of accomplishment,” Otte and Graff add.
At The Art Spark, creation is more than a finished product. “It’s an investment in the future of every child,” Otte and Graff explain. Every project helps children to develop fine motor skills by using a variety of different supplies and techniques. “We challenge our children to think outside the box and solve problems creatively,” say Otte and Graff. “The kids see it as a fun puzzle but ultimately it’s helping them develop skills that they can use in their daily life.”
An instilled sense of imagination helps children from grade-school age and beyond, according to Otte and Graff. As they grow, a flare for creativity, “helps them to be more confident, have exceptional leadership skills and to not give up when they may hit road blocks,” they add.
The Art Spark offers programs and opportunities to fit every lifestyle. Summer and winter camps are divided up by ages and all have a unique theme. Activities include both individual and collaborative team projects.
Age ranges for camps are 3-4, 5-9 and 7-11. Birthday parties are another way for children to experience The Art Spark. Families can choose between different packages according to their wishes.
“Our Play and Create package offers games, activities, and two art projects that each child takes home with them,” says Otte and Graff. “Our Exploration package offers activities within an elaborately build, full-emersion environment and also includes two take-home projects.”
Birthday parties are also customizable, with the activities and projects based on a theme chosen by the child.
Playing a role in the development of a child is a rewarding experience for Otte and Graff. “We always stick to our guidelines of inspiring imagination, solving problems creatively, and helping children gain independence and confidence,” they said, “We are always inspired by our students’ creativity and each day is a new adventure!”
The Art Spark is located inside Rockwern Academy at 8401 Montgomery Rd. Visit www.theartspark.com for more information.