Welcome to VAIC Studio, a place where children can get messy and explore the process of making art. Thank you for visiting! You might call me "the artist who pretends to teach." :) I have over twelve years of experience guiding the art process for students of all ages--from ages two to eighty-two.
When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I spent days getting my hands dirty and making a mess with clay, mud, paint, costumes, paper, and textiles...often stealing my mom's Scotch tape or finding new uses for abandoned scraps of wood. As a young teenager, I taught simple art classes to local school kids, and at seventeen, I spent a half-year at an orphanage in India, teaching and learning from sixty-four children in a little village outside of Hyderabad called Yerragondapalem.
After returning from India, I attended the University of Virginia, and graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art, concentrating in photography and film, with painting, bookmaking, printmaking and drawing on the side. Since that time, I have worked odd jobs in photography and film, and taken commissions in drawing and painting. I taught in public and private schools, at camps and micro-schools, for Michael's Arts & Crafts, for the Girl Scouts, and for home-school students. In 2016, I completed the Texas Art Content Exam, and in 2017 I began tutoring privately and holding small classes in my home studio.
I believe in an age of screen-time and information overload, children benefit from slowing down, using their hands and engaging sensuous mediums. I hope to foster the development of a child's (or inner child's) rich pattern language and inner culture.
Vijay Shah, Director
The Humanist Academy
Jenni Hotopp, Educator, Manager