Tuesday, March 30, 1999

Art classes pair parents with kids

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here's a chance to bond with your child while honing your art skills.

        Happen, a non-profit organization in Corryville, offers classes to build art awareness, basic skills and ignite creative energy in children and adults as they work together. The curriculum is designed for boys and girls between first and sixth grades, and one parent, guardian or mentor of each child.

        “The purpose is to bring children and parents together for quality time,” says Tommy Rueff, executive director of Happen. “The process is through art education. We practice basic arts skills, but in a fun and creative way. The whole class is full of surprises. It's like walking into a Nickelodeon game show.” ”

        Mr. Rueff was co-founder, art director and copy writer for Barefoot Advertising, East Walnut Hills. His idea for Happen was born while teaching art to fifth graders through a Contemporary Arts Center program for two years. He left the advertising agency a year ago to establish Happen.

        “Family is very important to me,” he says. “That's what my art work is about. I think more quality time is needed . . . I'm all for sports and piano, but most of those programs are a drop-off program, or the parents are always on the sidelines.

        “We teach what I call "Warner Brothers mentality.' There's one level the child enjoys and another level the parents can enjoy. When they leave, they both go, "Wow that was great!' ”

        Weekly themed classes explore colors, shapes, motion and expression. Six class times are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays. The five-week session costs $75. Registration is under way for the next session, which begins April 20. Call 751-2345.


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