BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — The Alley Cat Arts Studio has pounced out of the alley and into a former classroom at the Monclova Community Center.
“It’s peaceful and quiet here,” said Johnoff, looking around the former classroom in the East Wing’s first floor.
By January, the teacher and artist plans to offer classes in her specialties: wool felting, acrylic painting, drawing, metal jewelry and purses. Johnoff will also use the studio space for her own creations, which she sells in area juried art shows – like the one being held this weekend at The Shops at Fallen Timbers.
As a kid, Johnoff loved art, and she taught after-school art programs for adults in five Toledo-area schools before earning her art education degree in 2013. Since then, she’s taught K-8 art for students in Washington Local Schools and, currently, for Toledo Public Schools’ Chase Elementary.
“I teach my kids to work with what they have,” she said. “Because many of them are low-income, I encourage them to recycle as much as they have. That includes mixing their own colors.”
Johnoff’s foray into jewelry began by using metals that her husband, Joe, utilizes in the construction business. She learned how to etch, cut and file and how to hammer and solder aluminum and copper to design earrings and necklaces.
Next year, the Maumee woman plans to begin a degree in counseling to further assist her work with trauma victims. As she personally recovered from trauma, Johnoff utilized painting to help her through the process. It’s a technique that she applies working with students, as well.
“With the canvas, you can paint over it all the time. It’s the process of painting that leads to healing,” she said. “Art therapy saved me. No one has to look at it but you. The question is: Did it do its job for you?”
Johnoff describes her paintings in acrylics as ranging from hyper-realistic to spiritual.
As one of several artists participating in this weekend’s Fallen Timbers Art Show, Johnoff will have a selection of paintings, wool felting, purses and jewelry on display at the old Gap store from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For information on classes or artwork, contact Johnoff at email@example.com or (419) 392-5112. Her Facebook account was hacked, so she is in the process of re-establishing her Facebook and Instagram accounts.