The Oak Park Arts District, a haven for creative learning

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Editor's note: This story is part of the Fall 2011 Education and Enrichment Guide, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal. Click here to view the entire Fall 2011 Education Guide.

The Oak Park Arts District has become a haven for creative learning for both children and adults. This fall there are many opportunities to take a class at one of the local studios and have an experience that will either expand your technical art skills or give you the chance to relax and unwind.

Sharron Ott at the Papillon School of Art, 19 Harrison Street offers numerous classes year round in Advanced Painting, Drawing and Color Theory Science. Sharron will share tricks and tips to improve your technical art skills. She also offers an open studio each week for all ages if you just need a place and time to fit art into your busy schedule or would rather not create the mess at home. Her classes are available for adults, teens and younger children as well. Sharron is an accomplished artist with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute. You can find out more about her classes at or by calling her at 708-738-0558.

If you are looking for a painting experience where the emphasis is on the experience rather than the results look into the offerings at Creative Changes, 140 Harrison Street. Creative Changes will offer four classes this fall in the personal growth genre: Process Painting, Sacred Power Mask, Clean Up Your Act! and The Body Wisdom Clinic. Starting in September, Art Classes-Digital Photography for Kids and Metal Smith for Adults- will be new to the Creative Changes standard line up. These offerings are designed to develop skill and utilize the artist's creative eye to personalize their work.

In addition, Holistic Cycles will offer an extensive schedule of Bicycle Education classes at Creative Changes. Classes are geared to novice and professional alike and range from bicycle mechanics to developing riding skills. Terry Mueller and Christopher Wallace are the people behind this unique educational facility that fosters creative expression, health, wellness & personal growth, and self sufficiency. Mueller is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Nutrition Coach. Wallace is a Certified Master Bicycle Technician, Teacher and Artist (Photography & Metal Smith) and has a BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis. For complete details check the website:

At Bright Olive Gallery, 27 Harrison Street, instructing artist, Jennifer Tiner, a student at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduate of Columbia University, N.Y. has been teaching for over 5 years and creating things out of whatever she could get her hands on since she was a wee one. Primarily self taught her aim is to expose and guide anyone with an interest in the arts so they may keep growing in artistic pursuits. Jenny's credo is "you think it and we can sure try it"! Jennifer is offering a fall line up of classes that include "Girly Girls Only" for girls ages 5 to 9 years. Each Monday after school they will have the opportunity to spend the afternoon making dolls, jewelry, purses, etc. She will also be offering classes in Clay and Multi-media and in Anime For Beginners. The classes at Bright Olive can be registered for by contacting Jenny Tiner at 817-726-1223 or by email at

Pamela Penney Textile Arts at 130 Harrison Street focuses on creating with fiber, thread, wool, and the needle as the artistic tool. Pam offers classes and private lessons for both children and adults in a number of subjects that include Nuno-Felting, Needle felting, Sewing Lessons, Knitting, Fabric and Yarn Dying, Crochet, Embroidery and more. Fun opportunities for Birthday Parties and Ladies Night Out Parties are also available in the Pamela Penney studio location. Pamela Penney has had a passion for teaching and sharing her skills for over 20 years and loves to see the creative spark ignited in her students. Teaching also provides inspiration for her own line of "art to wear" garments and accessories that she creates in her studio location. Pamela Penney has her Bachelor's of Art in Interior Design from Michigan State University and has been honing her artistic skills for close to 35 years. More information on the fall classes or to schedule a private lesson with Pamela Penney can be found at or by calling the studio at 708-383-2602.

The Oak Park Arts District businesses on Harrison Street work together to offer a program of Children's Art Camps and Classes through out the year. Each summer two 2-week camps are offered for ages 5 to 11 years as well as numerous Intensive Camps for a wide range of children. During the school year a "No School Day" Art Program offers children an opportunity to spend their day off from school in the studio locations of professional artists learning and creating. The children visit two studios in the morning and two in the afternoon experiencing dance, beading, painting, fiber art, sculpture, music, creative writing and more. More information regarding the Children's Art Classes in the Oak Park Arts District can be found at or by calling Pam at 708-383-2602.

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