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Little studio tries to provide inspired art

My Masterpiece Art Studio opens doors to creative people
by: Jaime Valdez, Kaylin Dodge and Ilse Coffman were inspired to take action to create a haven for families to explore the joy of making art. The longtime friends and business partners recently opened My Masterpiece Art Studio.

Opening Beaverton's new My Masterpiece Art Studio was a labor of love for two Garden Home mothers.

'It was a realization of a dream,' said Ilse Coffman.

'We've been so busy, that we haven't really had time to reflect on what this means to us,' added Kaylin Dodge. 'Opening this studio is something we've invested a lot of time, energy and love in.

'It was truly an entrepreneurial venture.'

Tucked inside the Parkside Business Center, Dodge and Coffman have created a haven for families and budding artists alike to gather and let inspiration strike.

From open studio sessions to art activities, classes and special occasion parties, the studio offers an array of creative opportunities for aspiring artists of all ages to paint, draw, sculpt and create.

'We wanted to make this a welcoming environment for everyone no matter what their ability,' Coffman said. 'This is not an art school.

'It's a place where people can come to experience and enjoy the process of creating art.'

Dodge agreed.

'This is a place that offers something fun for everyone,' she added. 'You can come in when the mood strikes and express yourself.'

It's also a place for parents to spend time creating masterpieces beside their children.

'There was a real need to have a place like this in our community, especially with art instruction being so limited in schools,' Coffman said.

The two mothers came up with the idea to open the studio several years ago after becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of art opportunities for students in Portland Public Schools.

They met seven years ago when their sons, Nic Coffman and Jordan Dodge, were in first-grade in the former Smith Elementary School.

After listening to other parents complain about the lack of art curriculum, the two friends decided to take action and volunteer to lead classes at the school.

'I grew up in a family immersed in the arts,' Coffman said. 'As a mother, it was just a natural thing to have art materials in my home.

'I assumed that everyone did. But when we started teaching children's art classes, we found out that a lot of kids don't even have a palette of watercolors or art paper. They'd never used oils or pastels before.'

When Smith closed, word of Dodge and Coffman's art program spread to other schools and the two popular art instructors decided to go into business together to offer classes to area schools.

They saved every penny they earned and three years ago began planning to open a permanent home for an art studio.

'We really wanted to open a place where kids and families could come,' Coffman said.

'In just our two families we have kids ranging from age 3 to 14. It's hard to find activities everyone in the family can enjoy that are appropriate and fun.'

My Masterpiece Art Studio provides a creative resource for families by offering an array of open studio packages that allow parents and children to explore art mediums using tools available throughout the space.

'Parents can come here to have a good time with their kids or go off on their own to get lost in creating whatever they want,' Dodge said. 'This is a place to feel inspired.'