Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression?she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura?s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, and families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego?s foamy beaches to Denver?s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest?s autumn leaves, and she holds mom's night out events all over the country, including in Honolulu, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.
With a focus on entertainment, Abrakadoodle can transform any party (starting at $199) into a chance to expand minds and glitter-slicks with 1,800 choices of creative games and lessons. Themed experiences include Action Painting, Race to Outer Space, Flower Power, and A Journey to the Stars. The expansive schedule features classes (one hour, $16) in painting and drawing, as well as imagination-fueled camps (two hours, $24) in superhero, pirate, and princess make-believe.
Professional artist and designer Victoria Neyman may be virtuosic in her skills—in 2010, she was selected to participate in Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota's Arts & Healing and Urban Renewal Project, and 30 of her pieces now line the walls of two hospital campuses—but she firmly believes that everybody has artistic talents. At her school, she coaxes these gifts to the surface by arming her students––kids, teens, and adults––with confidence and technical skills. In small classes, students learn color theory, the properties of various mediums, and the techniques associated with perspective and form. Neyman values creativity as much as she values the technical facet of visual art, so when she teaches children, she is careful to teach methods in a way that won't stifle their spontaneous impulses.