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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Art classes teach children how to make fine art

May 30, 2017 03:07PM ● By Kelly Cannon

At the Holladay Lions Recreation Center, children can learn how to create art with Art Classes with Nancy. (Salt Lake County)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
At the Holladay Lions Recreation Center, children are learning how to create fine art through Art Classes with Nancy. Taught by Nancy Landon-Davis, the weekly class teaches children about different artists and different forms of art. Landon-Davis has been teaching art since 1999 but started teaching classes on her own in 2001.
“Every year, I come up with a year-long curriculum of what I’m going to be teaching,” Landon-Davis said. “Over the years, I’ve learned that if I mix things up as far as one month, I’ll teach a famous artist, another month I’ll teach cartoon art where kids can draw their favorite cartoons.”
Some of her classes are structured where the kids have to follow Landon-Davis step by step. For instance, in May the subject was Georgia O’Keeffe, and the kids followed Landon-Davis’s lead to recreate some of O’Keefe’s work.
“In the four-week class, the first week the kids will draw the famous picture. The next week, we’ll paint it or color it in with oils or pastels. The third week, we’ll draw another one, and the next week we paint it,” Landon-Davis said. “What I do is I get three pictures, then I ask the students which of these they want to draw today. Then we draw it and we paint it next week. Then next I ask which one out of these two. So the kids have a choice.”
Landon-Davis will also hand out a copy of the drawing to more advanced students so they don’t have to wait for her instructions.
The classes are for children ages 6 to 12. However, Landon-Davis is currently revamping the structure of the classes.
“I’ve been asking different parents what they think. I want to put together a parent and child class for kindergarten and first-graders with a parent so we can do a little bit more advanced stuff with the help of a parent,” Landon-Davis said. “My regular program, I want to be second through sixth grade. Those kids have a little bit of experience and they can do harder things on their own without a parent’s help. That’s kind of in the works now.”
Every year, Landon-Davis selects different artists to feature but has repeat topics that children enjoy. This year, subjects have included Henri Matisse, animal art and cartoon art. With the animal art, the classes are less structured. Landon-Davis brings in dozens of books with animal pictures for references.
“Every July, since it’s nice warm weather, I do tie-dye and fiber art. Since I don’t want the kids to do the same thing every year, one year we made the god’s eyes with yarn,” Landon-Davis said. “This year, we’re going to draw and paint on fabric that I’m going to turn into pillows.”
The classes take place every month except for August and December.
“I found that parents are really, really busy during that time with the holidays in December and with school starting in August. I’m thinking I might do the first two weeks in December and call it holiday art,” Landon-Davis said. “I used to do that and made presents for people because the kids really liked that.”
For Landon-Davis, the point of the classes is to not only teach the kids about art, but to also help them feel they can create art.
“I want them to go away feeling that art is about enjoyment, about fun, about relaxation. It’s not about getting things right. There’s no such thing as perfect,” Landon-Davis said. “And I always tell my kids there are no mistakes in art because everything we make is an expression of us, so how could that be wrong?”
To learn more about Art with Nancy, visit