By Hunter Jones
Beneath spacious trees and by following a beloved trail of stones, seashells and shiny rocks lies a place where kids can be kids — and grown ups can be kids, too. This place is The Art House.
Renee Hunt is a well-known local artist in Ruston and was a Montessori teacher/director for 25 years at The Montessori School of Ruston while teaching at The Art House, but the last four years, she has worked fully an art teacher at The Art House.
Hunt has just two passions in life, teaching and art, which she combined into teaching art at The Art House where she currently teaches art classes, after school art classes and art classes for homeschooled children. In 2007, she started this project in the sunroom of her 100-year-old house.
“Several years later the need for expansion was evident,” Hunt said. “We turned the backyard into a whimsical, fairy-like environment and built a cottage-style studio for children.”
The Art House still continues to grow and expand to this day with a plethora of students to teach.
The Art House is a place to create joy without any pressure or stress for students as soon as you walk through its gates and “,…feel that you’ve taken a step back in time to a place where children, young and old alike, create ’til their heart is content,” Hunt said.
Hunt teaches her students with a variety of mediums. She shows them how to use acrylic paint, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, sculpture, clay, glass fusion, and printmaking along with how to sculpt with wood, wire, clay and found objects.
“Parents comment that it is a place for their children to ‘do their thing,’” Hunt said.
Her passion for teaching is evident as she promotes her students’ creativity by giving them choices within each project to scope out their own artistic style.
“It’s home, and the children are my people,” Hunt said. “It is a safe place for the students to create their heart’s desires.”
Hunt also explained how her students are treated with love and respect, and within this, they treat their fellow classmates the same amount of kindness.
Hunt said she is very proud about allowing her students to get a feel for life as an artist with projects like decorating for the Community Christmas, providing artwork for a traveling art show featuring their renditions of art from “Seussical the Musical,” having her students begin the Community Weave Project and the Blue Dog Project.
“I’m so proud to have my four children learning under Renee’s direction,” Jenn Kilpatrick said. “It meets different needs in each of their unique brains. The Art House Brings joy to children, to parents, to our community.”
Kilpatrick spoke fondly of her appreciation for all The Art House does for the community of Ruston especially in the state of the world.
“It’s important during a world-wide pandemic or on a Tuesday afternoon,” Kilpatrick said. “Even if you are not drawn to art or connect to it, you will breathe it in and be moved by it the moment you step into The Art House.”
The Art House and Hunt can be found on Facebook, Instagram and at TheArtHouseRocks.com for more info.
“Kindness matters at The Art House,” Hunt said.
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