Jill Turner, founder of non-profit Painting Pandas, joined Studio 512 to talk about her mission to get art supplies and art classes into kids’ hands.
Jill established Painting Pandas in 2020 after hearing school shut-downs were affecting students in many ways and that art supplies were being cut. She took it upon herself to provide free quality art supplies and art instruction to kids in grades K-5 who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them.
“Last month we celebrated our two-year anniversary and have served more than 500 underserved kids and donated more than 30,000 art kits. Classes are taught by three certified teachers via Zoom, are divided by grade level and curated with age-appropriate projects, materials, and techniques. Kids learn to draw, paint, color, and sculpt and important fine motor skills, imagination, problem solving, confidence, and a host of other important life skills are also incorporated. Students are also introduced to historic artists and world leaders as well as relevant art history that centers on Black, Hispanic, and female artists. Best of all, the kids LOVE the classes and look forward to them each week!
“Every child has a gift, and every child is an artist. We hope what we do inspires children to find joy and creativity through art while teaching them that drawing and making art can form the foundations of almost everything that surrounds them – the homes they live in, the appliances they use, the transportation that takes them where they need to go, the shoes they wear, and the technology they use. Through art, children can explore their ideas, problem solve, combat adversity, and better understand art as a tool for creative thinking, future employment opportunities, and successful life-long living.”