Art teachers flourish as students learn
FROM a woman teaching art in her home to owning and operating an established studio, gallery and store with four other teachers on board, Suzi HancockJanicki reflects on where she has come from and excitedly awaits where she is heading. SmartArts in Cannonvale Marketplace is a year-and-a-half-old and has grown from 39 students to 270. They host art classes five days a week from juniors, teens, special needs, adults and nude life drawing classes covering five different mediums – pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil and acrylics. Classes for special needs has just recently been introduced on Wednesdays as Ms Hancock-Janicki felt there was a demand to make it a weekly activity. SmartArts has been a rollercoaster for the acclaimed artist but it’s a love that never dies. “I’ve been doing art for 30 years, I remember waiting for my father on the letterbox every Thursday because he used to bring me home something arty,” she said. She is thrilled to have four fabulous art teachers by her side that she taught and handpicked herself. She describes junior and teens art teacher Bek Roberts as a dynamic, energetic and fun woman who brings a certain pizzazz to the studio.
Life led Brigitte Peel back to art, after always being artsy in a school Ms Peel was caught up in travel and corporate work before finding art again and eventually teaching it. For Deb Murphy, art has always been about an escape. After being strictly family-focussed for many years, she finally found time to do something for herself and describes teaching as a rewarding feeling. Denise Brady is SmartArts’ newest teacher, having taught one junior class which was hailed a success. Ms Brady is a believer that opening one door leads to others and can’t wait to see where art and teaching will take her. Ms Hancock-Janicki looks to the future with her eccentric team and says SmartArts will only get bigger and better.
SASSY TEACHERS: Smart Arts teachers Bek Roberts, Deb Murphy, owner Suzi Hancock-Janicki, Brigitte Peel and Denise Brady.