Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spotlight On: LeSo Art Gallery - Toledo, Ohio

When I organize classes for Lullaby U, I always think to myself, "Would I take time out of my day to attend this class?"  With a hectic schedule and 2 kids under 3 years old, I'm essentially MY perfect customer!  So when my husband stumbled upon this killer art gallery in Toledo and suggested we host Art classes, it was a no- brainer!

Amber LeFever, co-owner of LeSo Gallery, graciously agreed to host our first series of Toddler Art Classes!  Each class is just $12.50 per child and no advance registration is required.  Classes are held from 10am-11am.  Parents should accompany and attend class with children ages 2-5 yrs. *Attendees also receive 20% off teacher’s choice products!  Here's what Amber has planned:

Jan 11- The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Toddlers and their parents will dive into the exciting world inside Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Together, we will explore various forms of painting to create our very own hungry caterpillar!

Jan 18- The Lamb and the Butterfly:  Toddlers and their parents will experience the story of Eric Carle’s The Lamb and the Butterfly.  Together, we will investigate color, expression, and exciting techniques to create our own butterflies!

Jan 25- What do you see?:  Toddlers and their parents will visit all the animals that the Brown Bear sees in Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?  Together, we will discover the magic of uncovering hidden drawings that we cannot see in order to create our own black sheep while exploring texture multiple mediums!

Feb 1- The Grouchy Ladybug:  Toddlers and their parents will travel the journey of a bad-tempered ladybug in Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug.  Learning about the benefits of being nice, we will also develop our own ladybugs through a variety of artistic mediums and hands-on learning!

We caught up with Amber this week to learn more about her and LeSo Art Gallery.

You're an art teacher.  Can you tell us what grade level(s) you've taught and for how long?
I taught Pre-K for one year and have spent the past four years teaching K-8.

Amber at her gallery, LeSo, with students.
What's your favorite medium to work with?
Personally, I am a painter at heart, but I genuinely love drawing and ceramics as well.  My fiancé is a ceramicist so I am lucky enough to have a ceramics studio at my disposal when I am not painting.

How did your art gallery, LeSo, come about?
About three years ago my fiancé (boyfriend at the time) agreed that we were going to take the plunge into making our dreams come true owning our own gallery.  At the time I was commuting from Bowling Green to Toledo, because of my new teaching job, and constantly saw the lifeless buildings that fill the streets.  We found our new home on the East Side and moved our life to Toledo in 2011.  We spent the next year a half completely renovating the space.  It was a complete transformation, but the end result was exactly what we wanted.  The gallery name, LeSo, is actually a hybrid of our last names, LeFever and Soboleski, and a type of metaphor for our journey together.  We were very blessed to have a wonderful first year at the gallery and look forward to our 2014 season, which includes workshops, classes, and public art initiatives.

How do you find the artists to feature in your gallery?
The artists that are featured in our exhibitions are very diverse.  We had the privilege of meeting many talented artists when we were art majors at BGSU, but many artists have reached out to us.  We have exhibited work by artists from the Northwest Ohio area, all across Ohio, and from New York to Iowa to Florida.

For parents, what's the best way to introduce art into their kids lives?
I think that the best way for parents to introduce art to their kids is by working with them hands-on.  Children learn from their parents and watch what they do constantly.  When it comes to painting, holding a crayon or pencil, or molding play-dough, working with your child and showing them the way gives them a huge advantage.  However, the freedom for them to explore without bounds is critical in their own right-brain development and creativity.

Any particularly good websites/sources to recommend for parents?
As cliche as it may sound, I have found a lot of really exciting lesson and project ideas from Pinterest! I love seeing images of what other people come up with and exploring new ideas. Other lesson-based websites can be overwhelming to read and muddied with standards and other curriculum.

How can we get in touch with you at LeSo Art Gallery?
My direct email at LeSo is, but we are constantly updating our website,, and our Facebook page,

Thanks, Amber! We're excited to work with you this Saturday at 10am! Questions? Email

1 comment:

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