When you ask Stephanie Pete why she is teaching art, she says she just had to do it. Putting her education studies and her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts to work, Pete is offering drawing and painting and general arts classes for children and youths at the Creating Centre in Vankleek Hill.

We caught up with her on a recent Saturday,  as children were arriving for what she has named, “The Sketchbook Club”, which takes place at 12 noon every Saturday. The course description says that sketchbooks are where ideas are explored, where drawing and painting exercises happen and then samples are viewed by the teacher. This club, Pete says, is open to students of all ages. You can just drop in and artists and designers from the community are welcome to attend any time, for a small drop-in fee of $5.

But Pete kicks off Saturday mornings at the Creating Centre with a general arts course for youths, beginning at 11 a.m. This class includes creating art from different materials and may include craft. Students will be asked about their interests and the course will try to give them opportunities to explore them. Projects will be planned ahead to include painting, collage, clay and papier maché. The cost is $140 for 14 sessions and is designed for children ages eight to 12 years of age.

When The Review visited, children had just completed some watercolour projects, including a wash and a small piece of art with a simple line drawing. This class costs $140 for 14 sessions, or $10 per class.

After the one-hour general arts course, followed by a one-hour Sketchbook Club, a drawing and painting fundamentals class takes place at 1 p.m. This course teaches the principles of design with a focus on drawing techniques and tools. Different strategies for drawing, painting and planning will be explored. Students will be encouraged to keep a sketchbook. The cost is $10 per class or $140 for all 14 sessions. A second time slot for the drawing and painting fundamentals class is every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Pete says she works on a dairy farm in Alfred-Plantagenet. Originally from Kingston, she has been part of the children’s areas hosted by Excellent Events at the events it organizes.

If you want to find out more, you can call Stephanie Pete at 613-854-5226. Pete says she also offers private instruction and hopes to expand and host art classes for adults.

Pete said that she and local music teacher Alice Rodger are working together to offer a three-day March Break Art & Music camp. You can contact Pete at the telephone number above or call Rodger at 613-676-4482.