Hello. I'm Jeri Sue Engen.
I was born in New Orleans and raised down south. I named the studio Kudzu, pronounced cud-zoo, as a nod to those roots. The studio is founded on the very best of what I have learned in the over twenty years I have worked in art education. I could give you an extensive resume of work I have done with elementary schools, clubs, community art organizations, museums and galleries, but what I want you to know most about me is that I understand you entrust to me what you hold most precious, your children. So I work very hard to create a nurturing environment in everything I do where creativity and imagination can blossom. When I am creating art projects to share with young artists I always start with the same questions, Will they have fun doing it? Will they leave excited to share it? Will it leave a lasting impression? My goal, no matter where I am teaching, is to cultivate a space students can express themselves freely, are encouraged to think critically about art and with confidence make brave creative choices. I am a firm believer in mistakes as opportunities. If your child learns nothing else, I hope what they take away from spending time with me is to “embrace the mistake” and trust in their imaginations and creative problem-solving skills to create something even better than their original plan. It is my personal belief that this is a life skill that will serve them well long after they leave the studio and their time with me. In the studio I call this, “making a yowzah a wowzah”. I am very enthusiastic to share both historical and contemporary artists with students through open ended questions that allow them to make their own personal connections and discoveries about art movements, styles, and techniques. Throughout these discussions I’ll add tidbits I think they will find interesting about the artists’ lives in hopes of sharing other great life lessons too, such as tenacity, courage, and being true to yourself regardless of what others think and say. At the end of the day, I believe everyone, whether you're young or young at heart, is an artist. And I strive to make sure that however you decide to work with me, whether an after school art class, art workshop, art camp, art party, online art program or through one of my art kits, you leave believing that too.