Smith Studios to partner with Park District for art classes

Claudia Loucks
David Smith, owner/operator of Smith Studio and Gallery in downtown Geneseo, holds a reverse pencil drawing which will be the subject of one of the upcoming Children’s Summer Art Classes. The Olympic Painting, on the easel, also will be the subject of one of the children’s summer classes.

The Smith Studio and Gallery, in partnership with the Geneseo Park District, is reopening its Saturday Afternoon Children’s Art Classes after a 16-month hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

For the last eight years the two organizations have worked together to bring unique art opportunities to area children in first through sixth grades. The effort combines creative fun with the best of art education to provide summer opportunities to the greater Geneseo community.

Instructor for all of the art classes will be David Smith, award-winning educator and artist. Among many professional recognitions, Smith has been honored as a Distinguished Member of the Illinois Art Education Association. He also has been acknowledged by the Illinois State Board of Education for his contribution to the professional field of art education.

Cost for each class is $15 and the summer schedule for the Children’s Art Classes from 1 to 3 p.m. on all four dates:

-Saturday, July 10 – Monet’s Garden – Each participant will build their own fanciful garden. Learning to use art markers in an Impressionistic style will be central to this 3-D artwork. – Grades 1-6.

-Saturday, July 24 – Olympic Painting – In this athletic painting-sculpture, participants will focus on the Olympic events they find most interesting - track and field, soccer, swimming, gymnastics and more. Each child will paint images of the five events they like the most. They will see their images transform into a unique collage of the five Olympic rings. – Grades 1-6.

-Saturday, Aug. 14 – A Reverse Pencil Drawing – It is an unusual art process to create a pencil (graphite) image by erasing it. Participants will do just this as they learn an entirely new way of drawing in graphite as they erase their image into the paper. The process has been shown to expand a child’s creativity as they learn that art can come form the unexpected. Grades 1-6.

-Saturday, Aug. 28 – Wonderful Watercolor – In this uncommon watercolor painting students will be working in an unfamiliar “vertical” format. This format will create unique challenges as the students compose their paintings. Students will find that their painting’s dimensions can then be changed as their imaginations soar. Grades 1-6.

All art classes are held at Smith Studio and Gallery, 124 South State St. in downtown Geneseo.

Signing up for the classes can be completed at the Geneseo Community Center, 541 East North St. or at Smith Studio. More information is available at or at, or by visiting Smith Studio and Gallery on face book where all offerings are posted.

Additional information also is available by calling the Smith Studio at 309-945-5428. For the summer months, masks will be required for children and participants who have not been vaccinated.

Adult classes at Smith Studio and Gallery are again being offered for open enrollment in an evening series titled “Cork and Canvas,” when participants will create a painting titled “Painting Garden,” that will be done without using a brush, which David Smith said, “will be an interesting endeavor as participants explore found objects to replace what a paintbrush might otherwise create.”