ST. ANTHONY, Idaho - Budget cuts have led to the elimination of art in many of our schools but thanks to some great neighbors, all is not lost.
The Idaho Art Lab in St. Anthony is a non profit organization where people can come and try out their artistic talents.
It's the creation of artists Kara and Dan Hidalgo.
"It's definitely a passion because without that kind of drive a place like this couldn't succeed," Dan says.
"Our goal and mission for the Idaho Art Lab is to provide a place for people to come and just engage in the arts - just be here and do art," Kara says.
The best part is that anyone can come and use the facility for free. There are small fees for materials for some projects.
Kara feels it's important to provide this kind of opportunity.
"I think nowadays especially because in the schools we've pulled a lot of creative play, and for us as adults we've pulled away from our ability to relax and calm down so I think it's just needed to reset," Kara says.
Makaila Brackenbury loves to come here and work on pottery projects, and Dan is eager to teach her.
"I like to come here because you can just express yourself with the art," Makaila says. "I feel like I can just use my imagination and dream."
Sarah Lehmann loves the care-free atmosphere.
"I really like it here because it's really fun to do the crafts and stuff," Sarah says.
There are so many activities - Dan points out just a few.
"Here we are in the pottery lab," Dan says. "This is where we can do clay castings, we can hand build with clay and most everybody's favorite is the pottery wheel. Scroll saws are interesting because they allow us to make very intricate curved cuts - great for making Christmas ornaments and other nick knacks that are fun for the whole family.""
Kara Hidalgo volunteers 50 to 60 hours a week to run this place.
"When you come in each day and you see the people - you're really changing lives and it just feels really good," Kara says.
As a non-profit the Idaho Art Lab can use donations of art materials and money. More volunteers are always welcome.
So Dan and Kara are hoping you'll take advantage of the Idaho Art Lab. Come here and see what you can create.
If you want to donate, volunteer, or find out more about what they have to offer, you can get more information at www.idahoartlab.org.