8.31.12 Issue

by Annette van de Kamp-Wright, Editor of the Jewish Press

The ArtRoom, located in Rockbrook Village, is owned and operated by Kim Noddle. Together with Anne Twedt, she teaches art classes in a variety of media, to a variety of age groups. It’s an educational studio, where visitors can immerse themselves in anything from sewing to painting to recycled art.

Kim graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in elementary education. While teaching in Omaha and starting a family with husband Jay, she earned her Master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Kim is an educator, first and foremost: “Anything I do, I do with the student in mind. It’s all about the learning process, and I love watching kids and adults during that process.”

Kim has taught classes out of her home for the past four years, and has always been an advocate for the arts in Omaha: “Art should be accessible,” she says. “It’s not about admiring it from a distance, it’s about allowing anyone, kids as well as adults, to get up close and personal, and experience first hand what it means to create.”

The space itself should make anyone’s creative juices flow: from the old repurposed kitchen cabinets to the display area, it is tempting to sit down and make something from the minute you walk through the door. Drop-ins are encouraged, and for those who want to check out the programs without leaving their house, there is an excellent website that walks anyone interested through the various programs.

For instance, there’s “Paint ‘n Pour,” which is aimed at adults who want to have a relaxing evening out with friends. And if you absolutely have to be somewhere else, the ArtRoom offers Friday night classes that double as babysitting. How great is that?

Classes are designed to inspire creativity. For seniors, fine art techniques are taught by using a variety of mixed media. Sessions include lessons in painting, drawing, sculpting, collage, printmaking, and up-cycling. That means making treasures from trash, something that is gaining traction the world over.

For $50 per month, adult artists can rent studio space, bring their own materials, and come and go as they please. Once per week, local oil artist Mimi Silverman facilitates an oil painting class. All materials, including the canvas, are included with each four-week session.

In addition, onehour private lessons are available to re-acquaint you with your sewing machine and discuss the proper tools needed for successful sewing projects. The sewing machine is evaluated, and students will be able to thread a machine, wind a bobbin and perform basic stitches. There are beginning sewing classes for new and returning students, and there’s screenprinting, a soon-to-be-completed dark room, and you can even throw birthday parties at the ArtRoom.

“We plan the birthday party from beginning to end,” Kim says, “and help parents pick out an age-appropriate activity.” The ArtRoom does not provide food and drink, but Kim encourages parents to visit one of the other businesses at Rockbrook Village, such as Kristen’s, The Cake Gallery, Don Carmello’s, Garden Cafe, or Subway. “If you tell them it’s for a party at The ArtRoom, they will deliver,” she says. “It’s a great example of different businesses working together. We will provide the decorations and the necessary utensils.”

The ArtRoom’s menu is extensive, and there’s most likely something for you. I highly recommend you give it a try. Check out their website, or drop by and get the grand tour. Anne and Kim’s enthusiasm is palpable, and infectious–just what one should expect from an art studio.

The ArtRoom is open to the public Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.theartroomomaha.com or call 402.502.4262