APEX — Heather Frazier is adamant that creativity is not a gift reserved for a select few.
“I can’t stand it when adults say they are not creative,” she said. “We don’t say we can’t do math. It might not be our favorite, but we can be functional.”
At KidzArt in Apex, Frazier works to get her message across to even her youngest students.
“My favorite part is teaching everyone that they are creative,” she said. “Whether they remember they took art classes or not, they will know they are creative.”
Frazier opened KidzArt 11 years ago. At the time, it was the eighth franchise. KidzArt is now international.
“It’s an interesting model,” she said. “We focus on fine art for children through drawing and painting.”
For the past few years, KidzArt has been located in a cozy studio in downtown Apex. As a recent preschool class wrapped up, several students lingered, clearly enjoying themselves.
“This is a fun community,” Frazier said. “All towns wish they had what Apex has.”
Although most of her students are ages 3 through elementary school age, she offers watercolor classes for teens and adults. Homeschool classes and track-out camps are also on the schedule.
This year, Frazier is expanding her summer camp program to include both half-day and full-day camps. Camps will be held at St. Francis United Methodist Church in Cary. An extended-day option is available.
“For preschoolers, it’s all about fine motor coordination and hand strength,” she said. “It does good things for the motor skills in drawing and handwriting.”
The most challenging student is the perfectionist, Frazier said. “They have to trust me that they don’t have to be perfect. They just need to keep going and don’t stop. Nine times out of 10, I can get them to do that.”
Frazier said Wake County is fortunate to have good art programs in the schools.
“I focus on drawing, while the schools have other objectives,” she said. “It is a good complement.”
Occasionally, a student will reveal special talent.
“Some children really see it and apply it,” Frazier said. “So we take it to the next level. We teach art fundamentals and then gently try to nudge them to apply those techniques.
“For lots of kids, art is their fun thing,” Frazier continued.
Some of her students have asked to take art classes, while others are there at the direction of their parents.
“In some countries, art is one of the skills of a well-rounded person,” Frazier said.
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