You have probably seen her before, donning her signature silly hat with a big flower, sketching caricatures at local events. Doodles, the local beloved caricature artist (aka Carol Jordan) celebrated the opening of her new art studio on Monday. Located next to the Walter Elwood Museum at The Rao Center in Amsterdam, Kitenkaboodle Arts Studio is the official home of Doodles.
More than fifteen adults and children were on hand when the studio opened at 10:00 a.m. and more arrived later. The children occupied themselves by playing with balloons which contained prizes, making the adults jump every time they popped one. Asked if she was pleased with the turnout, Jordan said she was pleased and excited. “Lot’s of children, lots of ideas. This is perfect.”
According to Jordan, the studio will be a place for parents and children to craft, learn, and play in a creative environment. Musicians, photographers and other artisans will also be able to use the studio for some of their events. When asked what her studio will bring to the area, she stated, “I hope it will bring joy, fun and creativity.”
Jordan moved with her husband Brad and their children to Amsterdam a little over 40 years ago. She retired from a career at Liberty Enterprises but stays very busy volunteering at Alpha Pregnancy Care Center and River Ridge Living Center. She is also very involved with her church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, OPC.
Jordan, while known mostly as “Doodles” the caricature artist, has been an artist since she was a little girl. “I remember being in elementary school and wanting to paint and draw more than anything else. Everyone else wanted to play. I just wanted to draw and paint.” While favoring no one type of art over the others Jordan stated, “I do pencil drawing, but I also dabble in acrylics and I do a lot of fiber arts. I crochet and sew. Sewing is an art I haven’t done in a while, but I am going to be administering some of that into some of the projects that we do.”
The plight of women and children is very near and dear to Jordan. Being a mother at a young age herself, she is a long time volunteer for many women’s organizations and causes. “Women get very little time to themselves,” Carol continued, “This [art studio] gives them time to create, and also their children will be able to learn who they are through creative expression and have fun with it. I realized that there are a lot of families that need to learn how to be closer to one another, so I will be offering classes for families to be involved, with their children, in art and crafts: ‘Mommy and Me’ classes with mommies and their toddlers under the age of five, children’s classes where the parent can stay while their children create and be involved if they would like to, and other [classes], but mostly it’s because I know children need their families to be involved instead of putting them in front of the TV. And art is the perfect vehicle to do it.”
Carol views Kitenkabodle Arts Studio as an extension of her personal ministry of helping women and children. “It’s a ministry, because I’m a Christian and I like to reach out to other women and children, and they won’t get pounded over the head with the Bible. But they will know that they are in the midst of Christian women, and they will be able to grow while they are experimenting with different art projects.”
The Walter Elwood Museum Complex at 100 Church Street in Amsterdam seems to be just the right home for Doodles. “As soon as I went into the museum complex I knew that it was the place I was going to be. I’ve looked at a lot of other places and the thought that I would have to do a lot of fixing up, which I couldn’t do, my husband would get stuck doing it…here I don’t have to worry about snow removal or basic maintenance. They do it all. And it’s a beautiful place to be.”
Carol is also open to possibilities of letting other artisans use her space when she isn’t teaching a class. “If I run across someone who is interested in using the space I will barter with them for a fraction of what it would cost for their own studio, and I have already come across people who might teach classes I don’t feel capable of teaching, like adult art and craft classes. There might even be a woman teaching guitar.” Carol went on to state that anyone interested in applying for a studio space must be “family friendly” and “make sure the place is well taken care of.”
Kitenkaboodle Arts Studio will have several events ranging from Mommy and Me classes to Princess parties. According to Carol, “Classes will be affordable and have special family rates.” A schedule of events can be found on the website at www.kitenkaboodlearts.com or you can contact Carol directly at 518-842-6651.
Jay Towne also contributed to this article. Photos by Tim Becker.