June of 2018, I opened a small teaching space below my friend’s photography studio and named it the Art Makerspace. My goal for the first two months of the summer was to provide art classes for kids during the weekday mornings and afternoons. Word spread through Facebook, word of mouth and referrals. I also recruited newcomers by selling play-dough kits to kids and parents at local farmers markets!. By the time the school year started., a handful of regular students became two handfuls of regular students! Not too bad for a small community!
My goal for the Art Makerspace is to continue to provide a space for kids and adults in the Pierre and Fort Pierre community to learn basic art skills and to help them develop confidence to express their unique thoughts, feelings and ideas in a positive environment through art. Enhancing and improving the Art Makerspace environment is a constant endeavor. Some of the ways I’ll be approaching this is through engaging art/STEAM projects that kids love to explore, showcasing student artwork in the community, making student art available for reproduction through www.Artsonia.com and providing a scholarship opportunity for disadvantaged students who would like to attend classes at the Art Makerspace!
2018 has offered me many opportunities to grow as an artist and as an art teacher! I’m most grateful to the South Dakota Arts Council for the Artist Career Development Grant in allowing me the funds to help reproduce my work and to the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium for allowing me to attend the prestigious NASA Liftoff - Summer Institute for Teachers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.
I look forward to 2019 and the continued experiences as an artist, art teacher and adventurer! Please stay tuned and in the meantime, link below to the kid and adult art class pages on my website to learn what’s in store for the month of January!
Thank you for your interest and continued support for JIll Kokesh Artist and the Art Makerspace!!
Happy New Year!!