Our Mission Statement
Joyful Arts Studio strives to provide art education, to encourage exploration of individual creativity, and to inspire wellness through art by creating a gathering place for like-minded people to share joy and laughter while celebrating unique expression. Our studio provides a nurturing and safe environment where uniqueness is applauded and therapeutic value is added to the lives of our students through art.
Susan Shaffer is the owner of Joyful Arts Studio. She firmly believes art transformed her life -- allowing her to reveal herself to the world. She wants others to have this same opportunity to explore their own creativity and to find which art form they most enjoy. Susan believes we have all been created in God’s image; therefore, creativity is within each of us. Some of us just have to learn how to find it and use it. It is Susan’s goal to use Joyful Arts Studio as an instrument for sharing this joy of art discovery with others. Susan is a nationally exhibited and decorated artist who has participated in shows in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Greencastle Area Arts Council, on the committee for First Friday of Greencastle, and is an active participant in the promotional activities of the Greencastle Shopkeepers. In addition to having nearly 20 years of experience as an art instructor, Susan is a former health care informatics professional, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art/Studio Art, with a concentration in Watercolor, a bachelor’s in Business Management with a concentration in Information Systems and a minor in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Wilson College. She earned her art degree after trading in a successful nursing informatics career to feed her passion for art and teaching art. Because she never lost the joy she finds in helping others, however, Susan continues to work part-time in a local pediatrician’s office as a triage nurse.
Originally, the Joyful Arts Studio was intended as a quiet place for Susan to work on her own art projects for exhibition, but it quickly blossomed into something much bigger when she applied for, and was awarded, a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts to teach art therapy to those with cognitive limitations. Her background in nursing and talent as an artist helped make the project an overwhelming success for the residents of Menno Haven Retirement Center, and the art therapy helped them achieve new milestones in their daily lives. Today, the Joyful Arts Studio is an artistic oasis for people from all walks of life: established artists, new artists, those who just want a night out to dabble in art, those with cognitive challenges such as autism, dementia, or Alzheimer’s Disease and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Susan accepts students of nearly all ages and abilities in her art therapy classes and coaches them to stretch their creative limits through therapeutic methods. But it doesn’t all begin and end with art therapy. Susan’s storefront studio at 21 East Baltimore Street is also the place where you’ll find traditional art lessons in watercolor, oils, acrylics, pastels and other forms of creative expression in Greencastle. If you’re searching for affordable art lessons for kids, individualized art instruction for yourself, or art therapy for your loved one who suffers from a cognitive impairment, the Joyful Arts Studio, under the creative direction of Susan Shaffer, has a class to suit your needs.
Susan as an artist, considers herself a watercolorist, although she teaches in multiple mediums. She is fascinated by the challenge of watercolor media, approaching every painting as an experiment. The original paintings on the website have been done in watercolors. Susan also paints in acrylics, oils and pastels. Watercolor has been by far the most challenging medium for her to work in; unable to control the many factors that affect the drying time, and how the paint reacts with the water and paper. Susan continues to be drawn to watercolor and finds the end results truly rewarding. Susan enjoys portraying realistic wildlife, songbirds and skyscapes in vibrant shades of watercolors. She is always drawn to paint with high contrasts of lights and darks, creating intense drama with vivid and bold colors. She is thrilled to share her passion with you and is hopeful you enjoy her work.