What Is Artsy Smartsy?: Part 1

We’re excited for our guest blog post this week from Tina Ottmar owner and founder of Artsy Smartsy. She provides a wonderful service for our senior population and we will be exploring this great Event Provider in a three part blog series. Stay tuned!


“Artsy Smartsy, LLC has been providing high quality and fantastically fun Art classes to seniors for three years as of October 2012.  The program, which seems to be the first and only one of its kind in Minneapolis/St. Paul area, is an outreach program which travels to over 28 locations as far North as North Oaks to as far South as Inver Grove Heights to bring quality Art classes, in all different mediums, to a variety of senior centers, residences, day programs and libraries each month.  The art mediums included vary wildly from watercolors, oil pastel resist paintings, mosaic mirrors, multi-media collage and home goods, to fine fabric projects such as weaving and wreaths making. Artsy Smartsy, LLC aims to provide inexpensive FINE Art classes to all seniors, even those underserved adults who have very limited incomes. They bring in QUALITY art projects which the students can be PROUD to call their own! They will want to display their works and give them as gifts. This goal requires the use of HIGH quality materials each and every class!


Artsy Smartsy is different from other art providers in the Twin Cities as she does not specialize in just ONE medium.  As the daughter of an artist, owner and educator, Tina Ottmar dabbled in all types of art over her life. (And collected over 700 square feet of art materials, to her husbands dismay) Her Master’s Degree is actually in Architecture, and as an owner of her own successful firm, Tina’s has the advanced ability to draw, sketch and apply color. Having rare traits for an artists, Tina is very professional, organized and dependable, she can be very “exact” one day and very “creative” another, which helps when teaching students who come from either side of the spectrum.  Artsy Smartsy classes are just that, a bit of appropriately planned “Artsy” art making and a bit of interesting and fun “Smartsy” arts history, which helps to make students feel as if they are in more of a hands-on art history lesson than a kindergarden class. The materials Tina uses are always top knotch! No foam and felt or Crayola anywhere to be found,  they always use professional artist grade materials and even protect their final masterpieces with long lasting sealants so these pieces of art can be handed from generation to generation. Her unconventional methods of teaching, singing, dancing, story and joke telling is amusing, engaging and so much fun!


With the goal of providing Art instruction to ALL seniors in our community, especially traditionally underserved  Art audiences,  Artsy Smartsy draw’s its focus to inner city senior locations in Independent Living, Assisted Living and even Memory Care homes.  These environments are all in desperate need of low cost, high quality, inspirational and fun Arts activities.   Because Artsy Smartsy is an outreach program, they are able to bring  high quality Arts classes to the very people who can benefit from them the most!   The faces of the participants during and after a class speaks volumes, and the hugs and praise given to the Tina and her staff show how appreciative they are to be REMEMBERED!  “Everyone in our community should be allowed to age gracefully, with dignity, and allowed activities which enhance their sense of community and give them reasons to make their own choices.”


“The research shows that if you learn something new – like learning to paint, sing, dance – that that ability to learn has ripple effects. Then you have more self-confidence, you have a greater sense of possibility in your life.”   Susan Perlstein, founder of the National Center for Creative Aging


Class availability is filling up! If you are interested in have Artsy Smartsy facilitate a class for your seniors sign up ASAP!


To see Artsy Smartsy in action check out http://youtu.be/J9zgA5ezdkk


Tina Marie Ferguson Ottmar

Owner, Art Educator


Tina@ ArtsySmartsyCLASS.com


Artsy Smartsy, LLC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               PO Box 120471                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           St. Paul, MN 55112