Art instructor Zachary Lowe working with an adult student on acrylic paint pouring.

Nurturing and Exploring the Artist in Each of Us

Ignite Your Imagination! Explore CCPR Arts & Culture Programs

Nurturing and Exploring the Artist in Each of Us

CCPR Art Programs Support Creativity No Matter Age or Ability


Art – Your Way

Creativity takes courage said one of the great artists of all time – Henri Matisse. Local artist and Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s art instructor Zach Lowe agrees. In his words, creativity is human nature. His role? To guide and inspire untapped and budding artists to experience the joy of watching whatever is in their imagination become reality.

“It’s really about encouragement, support and freedom,” says Lowe. “Many of us were told at some point in our lives that we weren’t good artists or that we weren’t ‘staying inside the lines.’ My teaching philosophy is that art is organic to the individual and I’m here to help build artists whatever they are interested in creating. There is no bad art.”

Art instructor Zachary Lowe working with youth art student on an art project..

At the Monon Community Center, arts & culture programs range from preschool aged to youth and teen through adult. The focuses are just as varied, from hands-on activities designed to unleash young creative minds to self-exploration and self-care in the adult classes.

Art as a Community Resource

“These classes are meant to be a support for the community,” says Lowe. “CCPR is a community resource centered around exploring and caring for nature and strengthening health through a variety of activities. Our art and culture programs allow for unique self-creativity also meant to enhance the mind-body-spirit connection.”

The adaptive art programs at CCPR are designed for individuals with disabilities. The extensive offerings are built to spark creative energy. Participants work at their own pace, creating a safe space for personal artistic growth based on what they find most interesting. 

“Art isn’t something concrete and shouldn’t be based on rules,” Lowe shares. “I’m passionate about art of all kinds and I hope to create an environment where each individual feels like they can explore whatever art medium they are interested in. If they are into sketching, watercolors or want to see a character they’ve seen in a video game or movie come to life within a treasured work of art — I’m all for it.”

Lowe has been an artist ever since he can remember. He says his parents were supportive of his journey from the beginning. After attending college for painting and drawing, Lowe became aware of the conformity and restrictions of how others defined art. Through his art programs at the Monon Community Center, he’s determined to create the same support system and nurture the love for art that he had growing up.

Art is a Unique Journey

“I want to create a home for art here at CCPR,” Lowe says. “A place where anyone can come and express themselves without criticism and gain confidence as an artist – whatever that means to them. As long as they are growing and learning and feeling their own success then I feel happiness in supporting their journey.”Art instructor Zachary Lowe working with youth art student on an art project..

October is National Arts & Humanities month. Lowe says as a community — beyond just a national recognition month to bring awareness to the arts — it is important for us to adapt our definition of “artist.” Anyone can be an artist.

“It’s just an evolution of the creative process that allows us all to fail, adapt and try again,” Lowe shares. “Sometimes I’ll paint 20 versions of something only to find that the 21st iteration becomes the one I’ve seen in my head since the very beginning. That’s a rewarding process and there isn’t a right or wrong way to walk that path.”

Lowe hopes to grow the program offerings at CCPR and encourages even the most uncertain potential artist to dip their toe in the creativity pool. The experience can be life-changing.

“Many things are black and white. Music is supposed to sound a certain way, or a dance is supposed to follow a specific range of motions. But art is subjective and there is no wrong or right way to create it just like there are no good or bad artists. It’s unique to each of us. Finding the safe space to support, learn and grow an individual’s unique artistic ability — that’s what we are doing at CCPR. I’m committed to making sure the experience creates a thriving and happy artist.”

To learn more about Carmel Parks & Recreation’s arts & culture programs, visit 



Written By: Sheryl Rodgers

Sheryl focuses on branding and marketing engagement. She’s a storyteller, editorial and media consultant, and brand builder. This story was written in partnership with Pickett & Associates.

Share this post: