‘Creativity Resides in All of Us’

School preparation made fun with perfection-free art day camp

Veteran educators Sonali Khatti and Laurie Stevenson wanted to give children a safe space to learn and create art without the idea of perfectionism.

Khatti, an artist and teacher of 15 years, and Stevenson, an early childhood teacher of 15 years, started Senseable Arts, an inspirational process-based art camp for ages 3-9.

They use sensory activities that help develop motor skills through learning art to give children the confidence that their work can look any way they want.

“Young children today need to be able to find a place to release their stress and use their imagination,” Khatti said. “Creativity resides in all of us.” 

They insisted that art shouldn’t be a stressful experience but an enjoyable one, and perfection shouldn’t be an expectation.

“We want to keep educating children but through the lens of art,” Stevenson said, and show how there can be “joy through simply creating. We want to get to the root of enjoying the process.”

Sonali Khatti graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught children and adults many art mediums. She has two sons who graduated from St. Mark’s School of Texas and a daughter who’s a rising senior at The Hockaday School. She says everyone has a creative side and that designing art brings joy.

Laurie Stevenson graduated from the University of Texas and studied social work with a focus on education. She taught preschool at NorthPark Presbyterian Day School and has two daughters who graduated from The Hockaday School. She wants to help children feel creatively secure and independent.

Through this camp, they hope to encourage kids to embrace the mess as they learn different techniques and ways to express their creativity. There are no specific instructions for creating art; they want the process to be peaceful and for the art to be original.

Process-based art affects the children socially and emotionally by helping them “relax, focus, feel successful, and express their feelings,” Stevenson said.

Campers will try different ways of creating art with various mediums, including painting, writing, and collage. Hand-eye coordination activities will help the children write cursive, hold a pencil, paint, and use scissors. 

The camp aims to prepare students for the classroom, empower them to feel more independent, and encourage them to love the art they make.

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