(THE RHODE SHOW) – From a young age children naturally communicate through art – with crayons, markers or whatever they can get their hands on. Creating art isn’t just a fun, it can be a great way for children to express themselves. One local studio in the west bay has been inspiring students for over two decades.

“By letting them express themselves through the creative arts, they can alleviate some of their frustrations and it doesn’t matter what age you are it works from the younger kids right up to the adults,” says owner Nancy Scelsa.

Nancy Scelsa is the owner of Nancy Stephen Gallery School of Art. The studio has been educating and teaching artists of all ages.

“It gives them confidence. We love seeing that. We love seeing the smile on them when they leave – especially holding up their artwork and they are so proud of it,” says Scelsa.

Students can take part in classes of all kinds – including painting, drawing, sculping and mixed media.

“It’s so much more than just art. A lot of people may just see it as what you make, what you take home but it’s so much more than that. I try to give them a lot of art history, a little bit of technical skills, and also a lot of room to be creative so see who they are going to be…To see what they are interested in,” says Christa Striklin.

Striklin teaches the studio’s youngest students – ages 5-9.

She says, “I used to be a student here at Nancy Stephen’s Gallery ages ago and that’s what kind of led me to teaching here. My mother is also and artist and it’s always been a passion of mine.”

Stricklin says for the students – it’s not just about creating their next masterpiece.

“A lot of it is just life skills. They are making friendships, they are problem-solving. There is so much that goes into it other than just creating art,” says Striklin.

The studio has several teachers on hand and offers after-school and weekend classes, summer camps and much more. Click here for more details on attending classes.