More than a decade ago, before Miss Suzanne created just do art, and even before she was an art teacher, she treasure hunted her way across the country, finding pet projects. As her firstborn (although not oldest kid)
I had the pleasure of accompanying her on many of her endeavors, some of which include; Garden-architecture, where she implemented 20 by 20 foot pizza garden, complete with eight individual slices. Mosaic art, where her creations ranged from home decor pieces to giant glittering murals. Her propensity for distressing home furniture (I distinctly remember a period of time in late 1997 where everything in our house, and our friends houses, were Crackled). She dabbled, albeit briefly, in miniature interior decorating, which is exactly what it sounds like. She made one of a kind high fashion baby hats, painted children’s furniture in various, whimsical themes and contributed to multiple murals in schools and churches, (her most notable work in this are was my bedroom, which has been in turn, underwater, a jungle, and up in the sky). Growing up, our house was never filled with less than four giant boxes of beads, clay, paints, fabric and glitter, which, by the way, never comes all the way off. Our house was always the house that everyone wanted to be at. That hasn’t changed much, and the family I was born into has continued to grow as more kids find their way into her life, drawn undoubtedly by her magnetism, generosity, and passion for creativity.
“Suzanne DeMarco creates magic…not only with her own art work but with the art that blossoms from the children she teaches. The children who never showed an interest in art before realized through Ms. Suzanne’s classes that art was fun, and they really could create amazing pieces. Those children who had always loved art were able to develop their skills to an amazing level. The most important thing Suzanne brings to her students is to let them see that the world of art, in all of its forms, is open to them.”
￼￼￼￼-Pat Cairns, retired principle of Juan Cabrillo
“As the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Santa Monica-Malibu USD, I have known Suzanne DeMarco for the past ten years and I have always been impressed with the high quality visual art that her students produce each year! Suzanne is able to give her students the confidence that they CAN create high quality works of art and I love to see how proud her students are each year at the art show in the Spring. I am so happy that Suzanne has decided to finally share her “secrets” with the world, so more teachers, students and parents can develop the skills and knowledge to “just do art”!
-Tom Whaley, Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator – Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District”
“Suzanne’s program makes art accessible and easy for even the non-teacher. The lessons are fun and engaging for students regardless of their art background. The format is easy to follow and exciting to use! I am thankful to be able to bring art back into my classroom, where it belongs!
-Sara Cooper, Primary STEAM, Lab Teacher, Fullerton, Ca.”
“Suzanne DeMarco is the BEST! She has a true love for kids and she makes art fun! She is patient and creative and teaches that they can do anything! There is no such thing as a mistake. My students could not wait for art class with Ms. Suzanne. They learned about artists and how to view art. Not only did they work hard, but showed their true selves in their work. The students created a gorgeous portfolio they could be proud of and were able to display their masterpieces in a gallery setting. How cool is that?! We also learned the very important lesson – don’t give your markers and paintbrushes a “headache”.
Love her, she helped me to love art and participate as well.
-Erin Pickens, 3rd Grade Teacher, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, Malibu, Ca.”
Suzanne DeMarco and I have shared our love of teaching art for more than ten years. I have used her book, “just do art” from Kindergarten up through 8th grade. This year, at Phoenix Ranch Private School, I began my year with her chapter on “cave paintings”. Her lessons are well organized, in the instructions, and simple to follow. My student’s results are always awe inspiring. With the help of Lola, the little dog, who also makes comments on what she has learned, the lessons are easily understood and fun! What I enjoy each year, is how every lesson helps promote individual creativity regardless of the grade level. For schools that no longer have an art program in place, “just do art” is a resource that proves itself invaluable.
-Susan Fagan, Art Teacher, KN – 8th Grade, Phoenix Ranch School, Simi Valley, Ca.“
“I first met Suzanne DeMarco when my oldest child entered kindergarten. As a parent, I quickly assessed which class would be the most fun to volunteer for – Ms. Suzanne’s art class! She was able to explain what appeared to be complex art projects and break it down into a simple, easy and fun process for the kids. Her creative teaching skills combined with her enthusiasm and passions for art are infectious.
-Laura M., Parent Volunteer“
“I’ve known Ms. DeMarco for five years. She inspired me to do art. She is very nice, a good artists and gave me good tips. She makes art fun, like the time we pretended to be Michelangelo and drew under the tables. I like it when she shows us some of her art. I’ve enjoyed being her student because she always encourages me to have fun with art and that I can’t mess up.
-Nathaniel M., Age 10“
“I love doing art with Ms. Suzanne. She is very nice like the time she helped me look at the light and shadows. She helped me shade the fruit. She inspired me in art. She if very fun, and makes it fun like the project we painted landscapes on metal and made people magnets to change the picture. She is a good friend of mine. Kids love to work with her.
-Kate M., Age 8“
“As a parent volunteer in Ms. Suzanne’s art classes at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, I looked forward to my weekly time helping out. It never ceased to amaze me how she would engage the kids and how excited they were to create art. Even those kids who didn’t think they were good at it, found they could just “do” art. I often came away learning something new myself. Ms. Suzanne is an amazing teacher, the kind I know my kids will remember their entire lives. I feel fortunate they had the opportunity to learn and do art with her.
-Wendy Davis, Parent, PTA President, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, Malibu, Ca.”
“As an educator, I have seen many art teachers in action, but Suzanne DeMarco is truly special. Her well-rounded curriculum blends history, technique and artistic exploration into every single lesson. Students not only learn about great art and major artists but are also encouraged to explore their artistic side in a welcoming and safe atmosphere, where every child’s efforts count.
-Avery Walsh, Educator, 6th – 12th Grade, The Learning Lab, Malibu, Ca.“
“Words cannot express my gratitude for what Ms. DeMarco has brought to our family regarding art lessons. As a parent of a special needs child, the patience that Ms. DeMarco has with our daughter is priceless. She not only takes her time explaining the project, but also understands that our daughter is sensitive to some smells, textures and even sounds. Ms. Demarco finds unique ways to help make art not so scary for her. For instance, our daughter doesn’t like the feel of chalk pastels, Ms. DeMarco would individually wrap each color with a piece of masking tape so our daughter wouldn’t have to touch the chalk. This was a major breakthrough for all of us because not only does she now love to draw using pastels but also is learning how to hold a paintbrush and is painting beautiful pictures.
-Bridget Klein, Parent, Brooklyn, NY”