Liliana Nedzelska, a Ukrainian native, said she started teaching art from her home in Keller to her two sons and some of their friends in 2004 because of the far-reaching benefits garnered from being creative.

“I understand for kids to perform better in school they need to learn how to concentrate and have patience. Art is about that,” said Nedzelska, who earned a master’s degree in teaching fine arts from the Kyiv Cultural Institute. “My goal was to educate kids with art, and because of the system I teach, it develops other skills, like critical thinking and small muscle skills.”

She then started teaching art in an after-school program and volunteered to teach art at local libraries.

In 2015, she officially launched Art Wheel Studio in Roanoke with her son Stanislav Nedzelskyi, who earned his degree in architecture from Syracuse University.

They both teach art classes. However, they have divided up other tasks. Nedzelskyi handles most of the administrative side of the business while Nedzelska focuses more on the programs.

Nedzelska said she designed the curriculum to reflect the way she was taught in Europe and focuses primarily on classical art.

They offer classes in a variety of mediums, such as watercolor, oil, gouache, polymer clay, sculpture, ink, charcoal, pastel, pencil and more. During the summer, they offer opportunities for students to explore other mediums, such as etching, batik and calligraphy.

Classes are available for students as young as 3 years old, and they cater to skill levels ranging from beginner to professional. The cost for eight, two-hour group classes is $245.

Nedzelska also said they enter students’ works in local, national and international competitions.

“I send their entries without the name of the school, because we take a lot of awards,” she said. “I try to give them shine, not the school shine. I feel successful when they are successful.”