She has opened her visual arts program and art workshop almost right where Pasadena meets Altadena, looking to teach kids and teens the fundamentals of art—so that they can then “to break them down and throw them away.” She wants kids to feel free to dismiss the so-called rules and mix and match styles.
“We emphasize the techniques used in Classical Art, as well as focus on what is currently taking place in art today. Specifically, our curriculum is based on Modernism, Folk Art, Abstract Expressionism, Realism, and Cubism.”
Eye ♥ Art has 5-7 kids per class and Aja has 36 students of all ages and with all levels of experience.
The afternoon that we arrived, the kids were studying still life drawing, represented by a cupcake on a plate alongside a glass of milk (which we were sure would not see the end of day intact). Aja wants kids to draw what they perceive and explained that the following week, the students were to bring in an object or objects of their own choosing, reflecting their own interests, desires, and fancy.
Over the upcoming weeks, the kids would study painting, hand pottery, sculpture, silkscreen, pastels, watercolor, acrylic, oil, charcoal, fabric beading, and papiér mâché. Aja will also discuss conceptual theory because she feels no one is too young to understand, and in case anyone is headed for or interested in preparing for LACHSA.
She wants Eye ♥ Art to be a hub for kids, and for them to feel that this is their creative space, their cultural studio, their home away from home, and where they belong. She feels that a lot of people associate art with elitism and she doesn’t want it hierarchical, but egalitarian. She offers the first class for free, as well as scholarships for more financially-strapped families.
Aja offers her services for birthday parties, the Girl and Boy Scouts, and even as an employee-building opportunity for businesses. She’s donated a month of classes at local silent auctions and regularly volunteers her time at San Rafael Elementary School because the school has no art program. She is currently working towards attaining nonprofit status for Eye ♥ Heart.
With a nod to parents and adults, on Friday nights, Aja provides a place to unwind without the kids, and allows attendees to tap into their creative side—and enjoy a glass of wine.
Eye ♥ Art
2061 N. Los Robles Ave., Suite 105, Pasadena 91104
EyeHeartArt.net or call 424.543.4446
Kids Classes, ages 4½-12 Wednesday, 3:30-4:50 p.m. Friday, 3:30-4:50 p.m. or 5:15-6:35 p.m.
Teen Classes, ages 13-17 Wednesday, 5:15-6:35 p.m.
Adult Classes, ages 18 and up Friday, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: 4 parent-tot classes, $60; 4 kids or teen classes, $125; 4 adult classes, $135
All or most materials included
Sessions run for 4 weeks and classes run for 1 hour and 20 minutes
Aja is flexible about make-up classes
One free introductory class; call in advance to schedule