Tina Marie Ferguson Ottmar, Owner, Artist, Educator
Artsy Smartsy is different from other art education providers in the Twin Cities as we do not specialize in just ONE art medium. As the daughter of an artist, Tina Ottmar (owner and educator) has dabbled in all types of art over her life. Her Master’s Degree is actually in Architecture, and as an owner of her own successful firm, Tina’s has the advanced ability to draw, sketch and apply color. Having rare traits for an artist, Tina is very professional, organized and dependable, she can be very “exact” one day and very “creative” another, which helps when teaching students who come from either side of the spectrum.
Artsy Smartsy classes are just that, a bit of appropriately planned “Artsy” art making and a bit of interesting and fun “Smartsy” arts history, which helps to make students feel as if they are in more of a hands-on art history lesson than a kindergarden class. The materials Tina uses are always top knotch! No foam and felt or Crayola anywhere to be found, we always use professional artist grade materials and even protect our final masterpieces with long lasting sealants so these pieces of art can be handed from generation to generation. Tina's unconventional methods of teaching, singing, dancing, story and joke telling are amusing, engaging and so much fun! You must see it to believe it!
"As a professional designer, business owner and artist, I want to bring joy and meaning to seniors now and in the future. Both by encouragement and by example, I will encourage them to express their feelings, their memories and life experiences. Seniors have more knowledge and wisdom than any other segment of society, by showing them the way to make art and providing them the opportunity and materials, everybody learns." -Tina Ottmar
Tina is a Residential Designer in Minneapolis, MN. She received her Master’s Degree in Architecture from ASU in 2000, and has worked in the Architectural field for over 15 years designing custom homes. She has shown her art in galleries in Door County,WI and in local Art Fairs and coffee shops. Tina volunteer's as the Marketing Lead with MNCAAN (Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network) and was the secretary for MAIHN (Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network.) in 2011. In 2012, Tina was sponsored by Springboard Center for the Arts, for a non-profit grant program for low income seniors called "Artsy Ageing".
Finally: What I have learned teaching 3 years of Artsy Smartsy classes? Nov, 2012
“In the last year we have seen miracles, heard words from those who regularly don’t speak, got to know folks who NEVER leave their rooms if not for class, we’ve assisted in bringing back memories of loved ones, family, home, travel, sorrows and joy, we’ve seen tears, heard exasperation of relief, seen shock and so much pride, we’ve seen folks make new friends, we’ve seen phone numbers be exchanged, we’ve heard so much laughter, spilled so much paint and sang so many different versions of “You are My Sunshine”, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and my grandpas favorite, John Denver’s “Country Roads” we could start a senior choir. We’ve made new friends, and most importantly we have given and received so many hugs and kisses.
Artsy Smartsy is a business which has brought together all of my life experience in design, art, customer service, sales, education, large family dynamics, close relations with my own grandparents in order to help seniors LIVE their final years. Artsy Smartsy helps people find their vision, their purpose, allows them a place where they can make their own decisions, mess up, make mistakes AND LEARN from them. It a place where seniors feel safe and alive, where they can make new friendships, feel proud of themselves, show off a little, and create something which they can give as a gift. Artsy Smartsy gives seniors back their dignity and purpose and enhances their lives (and mine)if only 2 hours at a time. I only hope someone will do this for me in my later years.
Soooooo back to what I have learned…..I have learned that I am always learning, and becoming a better artist and teacher. BUT, mostly, I have learned that THIS is what I am supposed to be doing for the rest of my life! I encourage all of you to find what sparks YOUR light, and chase it!”
Class availability is filling up! If you are interested in having Artsy Smartsy facilitate a class for your group, sign up ASAP!
See more information on Artsy Smartsy,LLC and the Senior Community at these webites:
1. USA TODAY
2. Episcopal Homes, "At Home" 2012 Annual report, page 4
3. Twin Cities Housing Guide:
4. Care Options Network:
5. Minnesota Seniors Online:
6. The Monarch Festival 2010
7. Fridley Patch
8. Augsberg College of the Third Age upcoming Silk Batik Painting classes
9. Hennepin County Library Free Artsy Smartsy classes
10. Minnesota Creative Arts and Ageing Network, member website
11. Midwest Arts in healthcare Network, member website