Even if you think you aren’t artistic, you’ll be able to create art at Tony and Friends Art Studio.
The St. Charles business, owned by Tony Carnesecchi for the past 11 years, offers adults and children the chance to learn the basics of painting and drawing.
Even more so, Carnesecchi says, he offers artistic hope to many who have none.
“I get people in here all the time that have never drawn or painted before in their lives,” he says. “It’s pretty rewarding when I can wring some talent out of these people and get them to do something they thought they could never do. That’s what we strive for ...
“I love what I do.”
Among the many classes, workshops, independent studies and camps offered are mother-daughter painting classes, after-school and weekend art classes and workshops in which students “make it” and “take it” home.
His “Kids 1-Day Winter Workshops” have been a “big hit,” Carnesecchi says. Students ages 5 to 13 complete projects consisting of acrylic, watercolor paints and possibly Cray-pas. This year’s workshops will take place Dec. 26 through 28.
Finding his passion
It’s a different world today than the 18 years Carnesecchi spent selling construction materials to builders.
Burned out by his day job and encouraged by his family, he began taking classes years ago at the studio he eventually purchased.
He describes himself as a realism painter, but he also does impressionism using mostly oil paints and some acrylics.
After the studio’s previous owner had seen his work, Carnesecchi was asked to teach a couple of classes. When that owner retired after 15 years in the business, it was an easy transition for Carnesecchi to take over.
“It just kind of snowballed,” he says.
An art and business major in college, he saw the business as ideal.
He had found his passion.
And many who’ve taken his classes say that passion has rubbed off on them.
Students, such as Tanya Moncini of South Elgin, and her 9-year-old daughter Sophia, enjoy the studio’s sort of “follow-the-leader” style in some of the classes.
“I always wanted to learn to draw,” Moncini says. “I do a little drawing myself. There were a couple people in the class who can’t draw anything to save their lives. It’s actually nice. You look at the end result ... it’s kind of amazing.”
The art class helps Moncini’s daughter with her hyperactivity disorder, she says.
Sophia has taken classes at the studio for the past two years.
“That’s the only thing that calms her down,” Moncini says.
And once she completes a piece of work, she can’t wait to show it to her father or give it to him as a present.
“It’s so good for the self-esteem of the child that they can do something like that,” Moncini says.
What is offered
Along with its St. Charles studio, Carnesecchi’s business offers Kids Summer Art Camps at park districts in Naperville and Glen Ellyn, as well as weekly classes and workshops at those places.
At the Kids Summer Art Camps, students complete seven to 10 projects and take part in an art show at the end.
“We do a theme every summer, which is voted on by the kids, so the projects consist of the subject matter that the kids vote on,” Carnesecchi says.
Other programs include spring break one-day workshops and six weeks of summer camps.
Through the years, Tony and Friends Art Studio has drawn many regular loyal customers who’ve been with Carnesecchi since the beginning. Some have gone on to win awards and honors.
Students learn everything from brush techniques to composition and perspective.
“It’s kind of somewhat of a social gathering, and also they’re learning art,” he says. “We take them through everything, and it’s kind of fun for them to produce some work they’ve never done before ... .
“It’s very rewarding when you see them excited and happy about something they did.”
Along with regular classes and camps for adults, children and after-school and scout groups, Tony and Friends Art Studio, located at 333 N. Randall Road, Suite 157, in St. Charles, will offer Kids 1-Day Winter Workshops for those ages 5 to 13.
Workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 26, 27 and 28.
Projects will consist of acrylic, watercolor paints and possibly Cray-pas. Children are asked to bring sack lunches.
For more information, call 630-377-5377 or visit www.tonyandfriendsartstudio.com. kc