My name is Kathleen Thometz and I am the owner and creator of Doodle Art & Design. I started the school because I wanted to be able to offer the children of my town art opportunities outside the once-a-week programs at our local elementary schools. I also saw the need to teach all kids, whether they think they are artistic or not, to think and to problem solve creatively. This is an invaluable life skill that can be acquired through making art. We explore topics and make projects that not only deal with art but the STEM subjects as well. You can’t make art without exploring science, using technology and learning some engineering along the way. Math is as important to making art as water is to a fish!
Doodle Art & Design is a tiny teaching school, art gallery, and retail outlet selling my signature art kits in Western Springs, IL. Doodle Art, as it’s known in town, began as a mobile art program in Field Park Elementary School in Western Springs, in 2014. I now have lunchtime art programs at Forest Hills and Laidlaw as well as classes at the studio.
In addition to teaching art, I am an artist and freelance writer with four children, one husband, and two doodle-dogs. I write The Accessible Artist blog for The Riverside-Brookfield Landmark and currently write an opinion blog for thelatest.com. I have contributed articles to the Mid.com and Chicago Parent Magazine and am a former columnist for the Western Springs Journal. I have a BA in English Literature from Manhattanville College and a BFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was a board member and grant writer for the Riverside Arts Center for four years and the co-chair of the Field Park Elementary School Art Appreciation program for six years. I am also a trustee of The Thomas Ford Library.
I believe art is as important a skill to develop as any other discipline, be it math, English or science and that everyone, no matter his or her skill level, can enjoy making art. I work to make each class an informative and enjoyable experience. Each Doodle Art & Design class begins with an interesting slideshow that often leads to a lively discussion. Its purpose is to inform and inspire my students. I am a “jack of all trades, master of none,” but have a working knowledge of fashion, design, building, color theory, drawing, painting, puppetry and wood working, to name a few. In addition to teaching some of these arts, I plan to teach my more intrepid students to write an artist’s statement, create a body of work and plan for a show; similar to the School of Rock concept.
The Doodle Art & Design Gallery is small, pretty much just a wall, but I have big aspirations to show its students’ and other artists’ work. While I don’t sell art supplies, I will do sell my signature Doodle Art & Design Kits. The beauty of my kits is that they are fun to use in a group because, while they all have the same materials, each project made is unique!
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