Children’s Art Instructor “Mrs. G” Honored
by Bill Zimmerman, Arts Council Menifee
Nicole Greenberg recalls being fascinated with visual arts in her youth. Today she enjoys introducing art to young children. She especially cherishes that magic moment when their minds realize the possibilities of creativity and accomplishment through color and composition. For her efforts and dedication to our youth, Greenberg is being honored as Arts Council Menifee’s “Artist of the Month” recipient.
Summer break for kids usually means time away from school and learning. But for approximately 400 local children it has meant attending Arts Council Menifee’s Summer Youth Art Institute held at Quail Valley and Romoland Elementary Schools. And one of their favorite teachers there has been “Mrs. G”.
Greenberg recalls getting her start in high school where she elected to take painting, drawing and art history classes. At age 16, she studied art while traveling in France. Greenberg studied interior design in college and received her Bachelors Degree.
She and her husband Jonathan raised two children, Jason and Naomi. During those years Greenberg helped coordinate a number of art projects with the Girl Scout troop she co-led. Sharing her love for art has always been important to Greenberg. Whether it was her own children, her Scout troop or neighborhood children, Greenberg’s kitchen served double-duty as an arts studio. About ten years ago, Greenberg began to teach art in a more formal setting. She taught art classes after school through Young Rembrandts, which allowed her to develop her teaching style and technique.
“Children’s minds are like sponges, yearning to soak up art theory while demonstrating their own individual talents”, says the art teacher. “I always tell students that there is no right or wrong way; it is an expression of yourself and how you see things”, she added. Greenberg loves to introduce the different visual arts mediums available, from pastel to pencil, and from black and white to watercolors. She encourages her students to experiment with mix media in order to bring versatile outcomes to a drawing or painting.
While teaching children to discover “the artist within themselves”, Greenberg usually incorporates a little art history in the lesson. Menifee’s Summer Youth Art Institute has a wonderful curriculum that describes popular styles and the early artists who became well known for introducing these signature techniques.
Greenberg has recently joined the Board of Trustees for the Arts Council with a focus on seeking opportunities to develop and expose local youth to the world of artistic expression.
“The kids really enjoy Mrs. G. They come away loving to paint and draw with the same enthusiasm as their teacher”, said Kathy Pickett, who co-chairs the Visual Arts Division at Arts Council Menifee. Pickett and Greenberg are discussing the potential for new year-round art classes for youth that can be offered for free at locations in the Menifee area.