artexperiencetrThank you for making our first annual April Fool’s Fest a success!
A special thanks to the generosity of our community to making this event great!

Arsaga’s Depot
Greenhouse Grille
Little Bread Company
Lucky Luke’s BBQ
Natural State Healing Arts
Penguin Ed’s BBQ
Wood Stone Craft Pizza

Gina & Richard Berquist-Teatro Scarpino’s

Jumpsuit Jamey & the Can’t Wait to Playboys
Ozark Highballers

Auction Items:
Fawn Wonsower Potter- Woolagains

Chancellor Hotel
The Inn at Carnall Hall
Sunrise Guitars
Phat Tire Bicycles
Hank Kaminsky
Dyes by Rachel

Thank you to our Cream Pie Targets!
Lowell Grisham
Hank Kaminsky
Leilani Law
Gavin Smith
Bill Symes
Hannah Withers

Thank you to our Emcee, Kyle Kellams for entertaining us and making the live auction a great time!





The Art Experience, Inc Presents:

April Fool’s Fest

Wednesday April 1, 2015
6:00-9:00pm at Scarpino’s in Fayetteville
$25/person – Kids 12 & under FREE

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR  @ Teatro Scarpino beginning at 6:00 PM

Featuring Zydeco music by Jumpsuit Jamey and the Can’t Wait to Playboys
and the Ozark Highballers

Food by Greenhouse Grille, Woodstone Craft Pizza, Lucky Luke’s, Little Bread Company & Penguin Ed’s

Auction, Dancing, Giant Puppets, and Mischief! Throw a cream pie at your favorite Fayettevillian!

Let’s all be Fools for an evening and support free art therapy for children and at-risk teen girls.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR @ Teatro Scarpino beginning at 6:00 PM






Thanks to all who helped! We have a new Executive Director!

Welcome Rachael. We are happy to have Rachael Martin as our new Executive Director. She is busy getting to know the ropes and you will see her out and about representing us. Please welcome her. Her children have attended Puppet Camp and are very talented puppeteers already! She has a lot of savvy and I have confidence that your will see lots of new things in the near future!

Thanks to all the wonderful candidates who applied. We were surprised and amazed at the quantity and quality of talent that we got to experience while conducting the search. We feel that we were able to learn a lot from folks we interviewed and hope that everyone will stay connected to the Art Experience and help us with our big transitions. There are lots of ways to participate by: helping out at an event, volunteering to be on a committee or running for a board position Our community is growing and becoming stronger. Thanks! Especially to Barbara Taylor, Kendall Kurlee, Joseph Reagan, Monica Reagan and Gavin Smith for your good work on the search committees! A very special thank you to the Arkansas Arts Council for awarding us the Arts Expansion Grant which allows us to hire a part time Executive Director. They will also be giving us support and training during this critical growth period. We already love Janet Harney from the Arkansas Arts Council. She is our Non-Profit Nanny and will mentor us as we grow. This fall we are continuing to offer workshops, groups, and classes. Click on Services to see what’s new!



The Art Experience Seeks a new Executive Director-

The Art Experience Inc. of Fayetteville Arkansas seeks a part-time executive director who will grow The Art Experience to double its reach with expressive arts therapy in Northwest Arkansas while solidifying diverse funding. The executive director will report to the board of directors and oversee the operations of The Art Experience. An important goal for the new executive director is to develop and implement diverse fundraising including grants, corporate sponsorships/partnerships, major gifts and individual giving. Further goals are to implement the strategic plan. The executive director must be a dynamic professional who leads with an entrepreneurial spirit capable of taking the organization to the next level of support, prominence and excellence. We prefer previous non-profit, management, fundraising, marketing and/or sales experience. Applicants must have at least a bachelor degree.




  • Lead, manage and direct a comprehensive fund development plan that includes grant writing, special events, corporate sponsorships/partnerships and individual giving.
  • Develop and cultivate a strong relationship with the Board of Directors,
  • Execute The Strategic Plan
  • Manage Daily Affairs: Be present to answer questions about groups and classes and facilitate the process of registration and creative experience



  • Dynamic individual who is comfortable speaking and interacting across all socioeconomic strata
  • Prefer previous experience in non-profits, management, fundraising, marketing, and/or sales
  • Able to start July 1st
  • Has at least a bachelor degree
  • Able to use Quickbooks

The Art Experience, Inc.

The Art Experience Inc. is a nonprofit arts therapy center offering expressive arts groups and classes to the community, including those in the community who are having difficulties adapting to their home, school, and work environments with some court ordered referrals. Some attendees are under-served with grants supported attendance. The staff of The Art Experience treats via the creative process to enable behavior adaptability, personal integrity, self-support and a positive engagement in society.


Our Mission Statement:

The Art Experience Inc. is a center for healing and growth through the expressive arts and play. We provide a safe place for developing the creative impulse, self-exploration, understanding and change through art making and play. We empower individuals and groups and encourage community building in a safe, therapeutic environment.


Compensation and work amenities

  • Part-time, flexible hours
  • 15K/year to start with salary increases and additional support positions commensurate with level of successful fundraising
  • Engagement in meaningful work with both the teachers/counselors and students/clients, facilitating a process that empowers people to make healthy life choices, through play and creation.

How to Apply:

E-Mail or Fax Resume/Cover Letter/Salary History/Professional References to Jo Ann Kaminsky, Board President at: kjo_ann@hotmail.com or 479-442-0557

Applications will be accepted until May 6, 2014.


Nurture the Art Experience

“Nurture the Art Experience” happened in the middle of a small storm and thanks so much to those who braved the weather. The food was great, thanks to Paul Vella, Chef Tuesday, Greenhouse Grille, Little Bread Company, Lucky Lukes and friends.

Jazz music was provided by Claudia Burson, Walter Savage and Steve Wilkes and we loved it. Dripping springs gave us wonderful daffodils to brighten our space that Greenhouse Grille donated to us. We displayed a powerpoint with images of art and art making that we have been involved in over the years. We just keep adding to our experience there.
An art activity was provided where you imagine yourself in a safe place and draw it. so our friends can know first hand what the art therapy experience is like. We also had a more playful art activity called the exquisite corpse. (Not as morbid as it sounds).

I also want to thank those that were so very generous with their gift certificates for merchandise, experiences and services as well as lovely nurturing items. thanks so much! This fundraiser allows us to continue our work with youth, offering free art therapy to teenage girls and physically ill children. Some of our items were not bid on and we want to offer those to people online so we plan to photograph them and post them here for bidding soon.

March 11, 2014

Dear Friends of the Art Experience, Inc,

Thank you for all you have done for and with us this past year, both financially and emotionally. We truly could not do it without you! We have exciting ideas in the works. This year´s favorites were Puppet Camp, Creativity Group for adults, and the free Pathfinders art therapy program for teen girls.

Our fourth annual ‘Nurture the Art Experience’ fundraiser is coming up on April 13th at Greenhouse Grille. Last year we raised $2000 over expenses and we hope to do even better this year. These proceeds, in addition to a grant we received from Nadine L. Baum Charitable Foundation and last year’s year-end contributions, allowed us to offer a number of free programs and events to our community.

The Pathfinders program, a free art therapy group for 13-16 year old girls is made up of girls referred to us by Juvenile court, other therapists and the girls themselves. In this empowering group the girls use art and play to learn about their strengths and discover themselves in new ways. We hope to offer a boy’s group soon and are planning an art therapy group for children coping with chronic illness.

Nurture the Art Experience is a nurturing event with jazz by the Claudia Burson Trio, chocolate and wine, as well as a wonderful collection of nurturing items to bid on in both a silent and live auction. We couldn’t provide free art therapy services to our challenged youth without help from our community. Thanks again for consideration. We are a 501© 3 so donations are tax deductible.

Tickets for the event are available here and you can choose to pay with PayPal or credit card or you can mail a check to 641 W. Martin Luther King Jr, Fayetteville, AR 72701. You can also get tickets at the door.
By donating you take an active part in healing our community through art and play! Thank you!


The Board of the Art Experience Inc. Jo Ann Kaminsky, Ásgerður Jóhannesdóttir, Margot Jackson, Gavin Smith and Quinn Montana.
The “Nurture The Art Experience” fundraiser is coming up on April 13th, 2014!!
Click on the paypal button to reserve your ticket:

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a unique psychotherapeutic practice with a general aim that might be gleaned from the term itself: providing therapy through play. However, this broad explanation might suggest that play therapy is merely a method used to lift the spirits and divert the encumbered minds of troubled children by encouraging them to do what they enjoy doing most. While play itself can yield therapeutic results, such an understanding of play therapy would hardly scratch the surface of the theories, uses, and complexities involved in the play therapy process.

What counseling and psychotherapy aim to do for adults, play therapy aims to do for children. Specifically, play therapy encourages the expression of a child’s feelings, experiences, and cognitive functioning. This knowledge is vital to the therapist in determining the direction of the therapy process, as well as measuring the success of the intervention throughout a series of play therapy sessions. This method of extracting and utilizing information through effective interpersonal communication is theoretically in tune with any therapeutic approach, but play therapy distinguishes itself by conducting its observations in a uniquely revealing environment.

Play is an essential component in a child’s emotional, psychosocial, cognitive, and behavioral development. Children also use play as a means of expressing themselves in ways that are not possible through direct communication. By using play as an outlet, a child is able to reveal (and a play therapist is able to observe) any confusion, frustration, or anxiety that might be inhibiting their development or otherwise preventing them from enjoying a happy, healthy childhood. It is for this reason that play has been referred to as the “language of childhood” and the role of a play therapy practitioner is to interpret this language and address important issues using a variety of play therapy approaches.

Though the type of play therapy employed will vary depending on a child’s situation, the most basic play therapy technique used by play therapists is commonly referred to as “child-centered play therapy.” The crucial elements in this formula, as in all play therapy approaches, are environment and the child-therapist relationship. Play therapy sessions are held in intently designed spaces called “play rooms” which contain an array of toys and activities deliberately chosen and carefully placed by the play therapy practitioner. Since the primary purpose of play therapy is to elucidate the child’s natural behavior, the play therapist must create an especially accepting and non-punitive atmosphere. If this arrangement is clearly established, the child will be more relaxed and instinctive and the play therapist will have a chance to make more acute observations. As the child displays his or her toy preferences (dolls, toy guns, costumes, etc.), behaviors, and levels of interaction, the play therapist—using theoretical models and their own expertise—can begin to assess and rationalize any existing issues ranging from trauma or stress to learning difficulties. Careful observation and analysis during the play therapy sessions allows the play therapist to provide the helpful guidance and structure necessary to resolve a child’s problems and restore healthy growth and development.

For over fifty years, this play therapy methodology has been used as a successful intervention and diagnostic device for children ranging from three to ten years old. However, as more research is done on the effects and uses of play therapy, the process has taken on many specialized forms and has been extended to treat mental health problems in people of all ages. It seems obvious that embracing and thoughtfully utilizing the natural, cathartic effects of enjoying oneself through play and humor can have a profound impact on the processes of both development and healing.

For more informations about play therapy visit: http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/index.html

For links to more information, see the resources page.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials.

Art therapists have generated many specific definitions of art therapy, but most of them fall into one of two general categories. The first involves a belief in the inherent healing power of the creative process of art making. This view embraces the idea that the process of making art is therapeutic; this process is sometimes referred to as Art as Therapy. Art making is seen as an opportunity to express one’s self imaginatively, authentically, and spontaneously, an experience that, over time, can lead to personal fulfillment, emotional reparation, and recovery.

The second definition of art therapy is based on the idea that art is a means of symbolic communication. This approach, often referred to as art psychotherapy, emphasizes the products—drawings, paintings, and other art expressions—as helpful in communicating issues, emotions, and conflicts. The art image becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the person and the therapist and in achieving insight; resolving conflicts; solving problems; and formulating new perceptions that in turn lead to positive changes, growth, and healing. In reality, art as therapy and art psychotherapy are used together in varying degrees. In other words, art therapists feel that both the idea that art making can be a healing process and that art products communicate information relevant to therapy are important.

This information is available at: http://www.arttherapyblog.com/what-is-art-therapy/

For links to more information, see the resources page.


The Art Experience, Inc is a center for healing and growth using the expressive arts and play. We are Art Therapists, Play Therapists, artists, puppeteers with the goal of reaching the underserved, making creative healing experiences available to those who need it. Please look further to see more.


Jordan mask 2The Art Experience is a now officially a 501(c)3 so all donations are tax deductible. We are committed to offering services to all of the community, including those who may not be able to afford them.


Please consider a tax deductible donation.
With your donation you can support:
One month of the Pathfinders group for 8 participants: $688
A camper’s full tuition for a full week of Puppet Camp: $350
One person’s tuition for a 6 weeks Art Program: $150
Art Works: support one chronically ill child for a 12 week session: $250
Thank you for all you have done for and with us this year. You have supported us financially, with volunteer hours, products, & services.  We are grateful.  We truly could not do it without you! Because of you The Art Experience, Inc is growing to include more free therapeutic programing and fee based classes.

The Art Experience has been serving the community for two decades and in 2010 we made the transition to a non-profit 501 (c) 3 status, to provide FREE services. In order to do this we are applying for  were awarded (!)  the Arts Expansion Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council so that we can hire and we hired a part-time executive director, Rachael Martin. In order to continue to receive this grant we must raise matching funds.  Our goal is to raise $15,000.   This would enable The Art Experience, Inc to expand our free therapeutic programs to include a boy’s Pathfinders group, Artworks, a group for chronically ill children, and a teens mentoring tweens positive choices group: Fearless Art-Fearless Choices.   Currently our funds come from donations, festival sponsors, grants, and fee-based groups and classes.

In October we had the 6th annual Puppets in the Park, our free community event at Washington Elementary School.  Thank you Fayetteville School District! We were even able to bring our new giant puppets from South Africa in to the gym for the puppet pageant. SPECIAL THANKS to our sponsors who supported a day of free puppetry and music: The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, The Arkansas Arts Council, Adventure Subaru, The Little Bread Company, Edwin and Karlee Bradberry, The Bank of Fayetteville, Arsagas and The Kester Law Firm.

This year Puppets in the Park will be held on October 18th at Wilson Park. (Rain location: Washington Elementary)

We now have a monthly donation option! Consider donating as little as $5/month!  or you can mail a check to 641 W. Martin Luther King Jr, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

By donating you take an active part in improving the lives of our community members through art and play! Thank you!


The Board of the Art Experience Inc. Jo Ann Kaminsky, Gavin Smith, Aron Shelton, Keith Bowles, Richard DelSoto, and Quinn Montana and Executive Director, Rachael Martin.

You can donate now if you like or you can sign on for a monthly donation plan by clicking the link below.



The Art Experience, inc.

641 W Martin Luther King Blvd
Fayetteville, AR 72701-6444
(479) 442-0557

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Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
* Open StudioOpen Studio

Time: 7:00 pm

Adult open studio time. Access to art materials, and art instructor/art therapist to guide creativity and insight.

* Pathfinders ages 13-16Pathfinders ages 13-16

Time: 4:00 pm

Girls art therapy group 2 hours

* Open StudioOpen Studio

Time: 7:00 pm

Adult open studio time. Access to art materials, and art instructor/art therapist to guide creativity and insight.

* Pathfinders ages 13-16Pathfinders ages 13-16

Time: 4:00 pm

Girls art therapy group 2 hours

* Open StudioOpen Studio

Time: 7:00 pm

Adult open studio time. Access to art materials, and art instructor/art therapist to guide creativity and insight.

* Pathfinders ages 13-16Pathfinders ages 13-16

Time: 4:00 pm

Girls art therapy group 2 hours

* Open StudioOpen Studio

Time: 7:00 pm

Adult open studio time. Access to art materials, and art instructor/art therapist to guide creativity and insight.

* Pathfinders ages 13-16Pathfinders ages 13-16

Time: 4:00 pm

Girls art therapy group 2 hours



Art Therapy Resources