To April Felipe, art is the truest expression of creativity and helps to develop personalities through painting, drawing and sculpting, among other things. 

That is exactly what Felipe, a local artist, is striving to accomplish through her elementary art program that focuses primarily on ceramics.

An instructor at The Dairy Barn Arts Center since 2011, Felipe graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts from Ohio University in 2010, and she specialized in ceramics. She first started working at The Dairy Barn at one of its summer art sessions, where many young artists from Athens go to polish their artistic abilities. 

If You Go:

What: Elementary After-School Ceramics

When: 3:30 p.m., Wednesdays

Where: The Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane

Admission: $125 for members; $140 for non-members

Felipe, who is described to be one Athens “up-and-coming” artists, now teaches a pottery class every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.for kids in elementary school.

“Ceramics can become anything,” Felipe said during one such class. “(Ceramics) lends itself to create in any way you imagine.” 

Attendees of the sessions learn how to create and mold sculptures under the expertise of Felipe, all while enjoying a warm and friendly environment with other participants. 

The Dairy Barn, in addition to being a studio for local artists and an art museum, has been a champion toward developing children artists. Through art classes and summer art camps, kids are exercised mentally, emotionally and physically, which is the main goal of The Dairy Barn. 

The Dairy Barn’s Education Director Lyn Stanton said the warm, liberal nature of the Athens area also contributes to the influx of instructors and participants. 

“When you create a piece of art, you solve a thousand tiny problems,” Stanton said.