Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Sunflower Kids Art Studio promotes imagination


January 8, 2017

Lika Gipis, owner of Sunflower Kids Art Studio at 6545 Gunpark Drive is continuing a tradition of creativity and imagination in the arts.

The studio has been at its current location for over two years, but the idea has been in place for 17, starting in Gipis’ parents’ basement.

“Originally it was started by my mom 17 years ago,” Gipis said. “I took over in my first year of art school. It was in the basement and only had my parents’ friend’s kids, it wasn’t public like it is now.”

Gipis got her education in graphic design and uses those talents to teach children how to compose art with a variety of mediums, including pencil, acrylic paint, watercolor and colored pencils — among others.

She said that as her mother’s basement studio got crowded, they began to look for another venue.

“One year, we outgrew the basement and got more kids,” Gipis said. “There were too many kids in there, and we wanted a more formal art studio.”

The first location was in Boulder, where they stayed for several years before moving to the current studio.

Gipis said that what makes Sunflower Kids Art Studio unique is that they don’t have set parameters for the students’ artwork.

“It’s great to see their ideas become something they can see — from the idea to an actual picture,” Gipis said. “They like that they can pick their own subject. We don’t teach them only certain things like ‘today we’re going to draw puppies.’

“So it’s more in the process. They get to pick what they want to do, and nobody tells them it has to be a certain way. It expands their imagination.”

One of Gipis’ friends recently opened her own Sunflower studio in Moscow, not as part of a franchise but as a “baby sister.”

“So we are sort of international,” Gipis said. “She has been watching me do it for years, worked here in the summer teaching with me.”

The studio has several eight-week workshops coming up, including watercolor landscapes and one on clay. Six of her students will also be part of an art show in Denver this month, representing the work of the studio.

Gipis, who has two kids who use the studio, said that several of their students have younger siblings that take classes as well.

“That is neat for me too,” Gipis said. “A lot of times they will come for years and years. When they stick with it and we get to see them learn and grow, that’s a good thing to watch.”

More information on workshops and classes, including birthday parties and a gallery of the studio’s work can be found at http://www.artsunflower.com.


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