Claire is constantly at work, finding new ways to expose people to the magic that is papermaking. She currently teaches Art at Mark Twain Elementary and in her spare time facilitates Zenith pop-up workshops.
Hi! My name is Claire Reynes and I am the founder of Zenith Art Studio. I've always wanted a place to teach and to create, to learn, explore, and collaborate with artists and non-artists. I also knew that I wanted to share my love of papermaking with people and to form a community around the art and craft of handmade paper. So I opened Zenith shortly after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in December 2013.
I was introduced to papermaking while studying abroad in Cortona, Italy through the University of Georgia. I immediately fell in love with the process of papermaking and created my first paper artworks and artists books. It was there that I also had my first experience creating work in a studio alongside other artists and students. We naturally developed a strong sense of community and were constantly looking at each others work, giving feedback, and helping each other realize our artistic visions.
After Italy I interned with artist and papermaker Andrea Peterson at her studio in LaPorte, Indiana. The following two summers I went with Andrea to Ox-bow, an art camp in Saugatuck, MI, as her teaching assistant. I encountered the same feeling of community in the paper studio there that I had in Italy. There was instantly a camaraderie among the artists in the paper class and a creative energy that we all contributed to and enjoyed.
I graduated from U of I with a degree in Art Education and am certified to teach Art for grades K - 12. I have taught different ages and in a variety of settings including a creative seminar at Walter Payton high school, a summer program for After School Matters at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Humboldt Park, and an after school art program at Longfellow Elementary in Oak Park. No matter where I am teaching or who I am working with I am always striving to cultivate that sense of community which in turn fosters an open, creative energy.