Art Teacher With Local Roots Loves Her ‘Lil Monsters’

Aug 07, 2019
Courtesy of: Jamie Jarka

Jamie (Roth) Jarka has been an art teacher for nearly 15 years and recently started her own side ventures, Lil Monsters Art. She took her love of creativity and teaching on the road and travels to host paint/art parties, lessons and fundraisers for children and adults.

Jarka grew up in Manahawkin and Long Beach Island; her love for art started with painting shells on the beach as a child. The 1997 Southern Regional High School graduate later attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia and Stockton University. Her initial interest was to become a graphic arts designer, but she said that changed when she took her 6-year-old daughter to a paint party.

“I realized this indeed is my calling, but wanted to teach my classes differently then a traditional step-by-step paint party,” she said. “I engage the kids with a little demonstration lesson first. It’s like we are in the classroom, but I keep it super relaxing and fun, encouraging them to use their own colors and their own style. Adult classes are super fun, too – I love when I see them out of their comfort zone; it really builds confidence. Adults truly love and need to be complimented just as much as the kids.”

In addition to hosting private parties and classes, Jarka also teaches out of Transform Fitness Studio in Barnegat Township, Smallcakes in Stafford Township, and on the beach at The Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club in Beach Haven.

“The Sea Shell is certainly my favorite spot to teach,” she said. “Jaimee (Boyle), Sea Shell resort manager, is excited to host new events at her resort, and I’m grateful that she asked me to be a part of it. It’s such a sweet and relaxing vibe. The kids stay with me and create, and parents go and enjoy a bite to eat or some free time. Whether the kids are on vacation or LBI is their hometown, they will be able to bring home a memorable piece of artwork.”

She said the next event at the Sea Shell is on Friday, Aug. 23. She hopes to continue events during the off-season. In September, she will begin teaching art at the Nellie Bennett Elementary School in Point Pleasant.

“Fostering creativity and bringing out the best in any child is my gift,” she said. “So whether it’s a birthday party, fundraiser, girl/boy scout event, all you need to do is bring yourself and I’ll take care of the rest.”

For more information, visit her Lil Monsters Facebook Page.

— Eric Englund

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