JoAnn Kaminsky

JoAnn Kaminsky

Northwest Region
Fayetteville, Arkansas
479- 442-0557 479- 283-2449
[email protected]

I want to use the therapeutic nature of art to help children with decision- making, self-exploration and self-expression as well as stress reduction and healing. I would use various art materials to offer optimum choice and variety of sensory experiences. This may include clay, handmade paper, 3-D collage materials, paint, pastels, mask making materials, and paper mache. This could be effective with small groups from the general school population, or children with self esteem issues. Available to conduct teacher workshops.


I received my B.A. in Psychology from UCA in 1969. I received further training in undergraduate art courses at Memphis State University and Memphis College of Art as well as the University of Arkansas. I trained as a professional potter under Gary Eagan for three years. After working as a professional artist, on my own for many years, I began working in three elementary schools in Fayetteville as an Artist-in-Education. This experience led me back to school as a counselor and for further training in Art Therapy. I was impressed with how empowering and validating art making was for many of the children who are called "at risk". I received my M.Ed. in the spring of 1991 and began working in an emergency shelter for teens at Youth Bridge. I was the counselor/director. I led weekly therapeutic art groups. After a year I opened with, with my husband, the Art Experience, where we offered classes in many media for all ages. I have also led therapeutic art groups at Charter Vista, Generations Hospital, with children at two women's shelter and at low-income housing center. I have recently led mask making groups in Little Rock with children at Our House, a homeless shelter and at EMOBA. In years past I worked with our local NPR affiliate to receive a grant. We were able to work with at risk youth in a group/mentor art setup to use art making-friend making skills to deter drug use. I have been to Santa Cruz, Bolivia three times to bring the expressive arts to the at-risk populations there, from youth in the streets to women in prison. I lead grief support groups for children using art at Circle of Life Hospice.

As an Artist-In Education I have worked with elementary and high school. Most recently I have been making rod puppets in a social studies program and also in afterschool programs, mask making with adults as well, and giant puppets with all ages. I find that puppets allow for visual arts projects to move into theater as the puppeteers find a story, voice and character for their puppet.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: All ages
Geographic Availability: Statewide for short residencies, otherwise, Northwest Arkansas
Time Availability: Open
Special Needs: Materials would depend on the residency program. If fired clay is a product, an on-site kiln will be needed.