Foundry Art Centre Artist Spotlight: Natalie Schloss, Art on the Spectrum
As you walk down the aisle of the Foundry Art Centre, you’ll discover glass windows showcasing artists at work using mediums from cloth to clay. As you walk through the doors of Studio 5, you’ll find walls and tables filled with iconic scenes from the St. Louis and St. Charles areas. It’s no surprise the artist who occupies this space, Natalie Schloss, is a St. Louis local.
Natalie focuses on painting at the Foundry, but also has a love for 3D art and sculpture.
A Young Creative
From an early age, Schloss’ parents recognized her gravitation towards art. They decided to sign her up for classes at the St. Louis Art Museum to enhance her creative skills. In high school, Schloss got the opportunity to take other classes summer classes at Fontbonne University and attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State University.
She continued to pursue her love of art at the University of Dallas where she studied painting and art history.
Finding the Foundry
After graduating college, Schloss was on the hunt for a job. She had never heard about the Foundry Art Centre until her aunt had told her about it. Later on, when she was searching online, the Foundry popped up onto her screen.
“I found the application to apply to the studio the day before it was due,” Schloss explained. “So I got my application ready and submitted it and was accepted.”
In October 2013 Schloss began her journey as a Foundry artist.
“It’s been great to be with a community of people,” Schloss explained. “We can go to other artists if we need a critique or some input on our artwork.”
Art on the Spectrum
After settling into her new studio, Schloss began not only creating her own pieces but reached out to the community to teach courses for people who wanted to practice art.
“I’m able to teach classes and share that love with students,” Schloss said.
After teaching for some time, Schloss began to take notice of the number of students who were on the spectrum. Many parents of children with autism were drawn to her classes due to the small class sizes, averaging 2-6 people per session.
After this observation, Schloss decided she wanted to teach specialized courses that kids ages 6-18 to participate in. The only problem was that Schloss wasn’t confident that she had all the skills required to accommodate children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD to her greatest ability.
That’s when Schloss met Georgia Gaydos, who has a love for art and is a trained professional in autism education. The two teamed up to kickstart the program Art on the Spectrum this past spring. Classes are designed for children on the spectrum, and sessions involve creating art with media including graphite, soft and oil pastels, colored pencils and paints.
In the future, Schloss intends on staying with the Foundry as long as she can and hopes to see her class sizes grow over the summer.