About ART BLOCKS
ART BLOCKS art history classes, from cave drawings through contemporary art, are designed to enrich the lives of adult students through exploration, discovery and lively conversation.
ART BLOCKS is the culmination of a lifelong passion: creating, exploring, embracing, engaging and finally sharing a love of art.
ART BLOCKS goal is to engage and energize through the JOY of ART!
ART BLOCKS Students
ART BLOCKS students vary from emerging artists, retired professionals, collectors, world travelers, arm chair travelers, to curious life-learners without a trace of art history background. The common thread tends to be a lust for life and learning.
Thanks to ZOOM, we now claim students from Palm Desert, Martha's Vineyard, St Louis, Vancouver, Toronto, Houston, Traverse City, Los Angeles as well as many from our Kansas City area.
ART BLOCKS Instructor
The Kansas City Art Institute sought out Donna Houtteman to develop an art history program to engage adult students to enter into the world of art. Donna’s twenty-three years’ experience as a docent at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was a perfect fit for approaching art history from an everyman’s perspective.
With contagious enthusiasm, Donna developed ART BLOCKS, and has taken her classes on the road to empower new audiences, including Junior Leagues, art galleries, retirement homes, churches, country clubs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Powell Gardens, International Master Gardeners Convention and culminating recently with a tour in Italy.
Donna’s latest passion is to empower gardeners to tap into their inner artist and apply foundational art skills to their garden masterpieces.
Donna's background includes:
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, New Docent 2023
The Kansas City Art Institute, Instructor & creator, Art Sofa, Conversational Art History, Pre-Collage Art Lab
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Docent, 23 years’ experience
2020’s ART BLOCKS Special Presentations:
Museum Of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach FL
2023 International Master Gardeners Convention
Powell Gardens- Artful Gardens, festivals enrichment
St. Anthony's Senior Living, Kansas City MO
Claridge Court Retirement Community, Prairie Village KS
Cure of Ars Catholic Church – Christian Art
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church – Christian Art
Numerous Christian Art Tours @ The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
2010’s ART BLOCKS Special Presentations:
OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at Cal State San Bernardino
Junior League of Kansas City, MO
Bishop Spencer House
Milburn Country Club
Open Spaces 2018, (KCMO 9 weeks arts festival)
Eva Reynolds Fine Arts
Country Club Christian Church
The Art Museum of Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX
The Warwick Society, KCAI
The Vanguard Club, KCMO
Just a Little Something, Toronto: children’s wear designer
Heart’s Design, Lenexa: children’s wear designer
The Canadian Craft Council, Toronto, Ontario, guest presenter
1980’s - until my last daughter was married in 2017,
Creative Options Design: Custom Bridal gowns and couturière
1979 Graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC, Fashion Design
1977-1981 My Coming of Age in Manhattan, New York, New York
Student at Shawnee Mission South and the University of Kansas
Helping hand for 5 years at Ranchview Floral & Interiors, Leawood, KS
1970’s Learned to sew (and did so every day for the next several decades)
1960’s Self-proclaimed artist and future fashion designer