“The Art Room” in Blair, Nebraska, is a place where creativity is more than a pursuit – it’s a celebration. Guided by the steady hand of elementary art teacher Cherri Yost, this establishment bridges the chasm between artistry and community.
Recalling the genesis of “The Art Room”, Yost reflects, “Jan (Cline-Zimmerman) and I started this together but then it was too much so we went our separate ways. I focus on kids’ art, birthday parties, ladies nights and family gatherings… I am an elementary art teacher so ‘The Art Room’ is just an extension of this. There is never enough time to express ourselves creatively, so I wanted to provide an opportunity for the community to do more.”
Classes at “The Art Room” aren’t mere tutorials. They’re vibrant gatherings that build confidence and unleash latent talents. As Yost proudly states, “Birthday parties and Ladies’ Nights are always a hit! I provide instruction to the artists so no one feels frustrated or a failure in the arts. Everyone that comes in here leaves feeling and knowing they have some artistic ability and enjoys the arts! I try to make the atmosphere fun, upbeat and relaxing. If people are more comfortable in the space, they are more apt to relax and try new art skills.”
Interwoven with Yost’s teaching philosophy is a profound spiritual compass. Describing this interplay between faith and entrepreneurship, she shares, “I follow the path that is given to me and do the best I can to share what I learn along the way as an artist, teacher and person of our community.” Her resilience is evident when discussing challenges. On tackling the setbacks brought on by COVID, she mentions, “COVID was a huge setback but went with the flow and figured God would provide what was needed. Now, trying to balance my family, teaching at school and running The Art Room giving each one the time it deserves to be at its fullest. Sometimes can get a bit crazy, but I love it all so much!”
Inclusivity isn’t just a buzzword for Yost. It’s the very essence of “The Art Room”. “The atmosphere in ‘The Art Room’ is always welcoming to anyone and everyone who wants to pursue a path in art and having fun. I keep it light, with no judgement and room for everyone to express themselves their own way,” she says, emphasizing the core principle of her establishment.
It’s not just about her, though. The community’s embrace is palpable. Yost warmly recalls, “Parents send notes, cards and FB comments that are so wonderful complimenting the kids’ work and the programs that happen here. This year, I had a kindergartener at Art Camp that brought me the sweetest bouquet of flowers from their yard to thank me for so much fun this year. The best ever! I also get students that don’t want to ever leave! lol. Makes my heart happy.”
Her approach to teaching is refreshingly personal, as she explains, “The student and I discuss individually what they want to focus on or I provide different lessons for them to choose from. Being a teacher for the last 29 years, I have a background knowledge of what students at each level are able to handle and how to stretch their abilities to the fullest.”
Looking forward, Yost embodies optimism and gratitude, “Just enjoying each day that I get to create with these great people in the Blair Community. Each month I am still open is a blessing. I will continue to do Art Camps and possibly adding weekend focus sessions later in the year.”
In Blair, “The Art Room” isn’t just a room. Through the dedication of Cherri Yost, it is a thriving testament to the power of art, community, and unwavering faith.
Address: 658 South 19th St.
Instructor: Cherri Yost
Phone: (402) 689-1943
Monday / Tuesday: 5PM – 7PM
Wednesday: 4:30PM to 7PM
Fees: 1 Hour Class, $15; 6 classes for just $72 (to be used within 3 months) SPECIAL OFFER: Sign up in August and enjoy a FREE week of classes!