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story.lead_photo.caption Janis Burgin

Art is my life.

If I'm not creating, I am encouraging others to create. Anyone can be an artist; all it takes is the will.

I love learning new things and sharing with others. I feel like it's a therapy, and we all need a little of that in our lives — especially the last year or so.

Last year changed my life in many ways. I lost my routine of teaching at the Hobby Lobby stores in Jefferson City and other towns not too far away. My students were mostly repeat students who I've gotten to know and grown close with. I received messages from several of them about how much they needed the classes and some hard times they've been going through. Capital Arts in Jefferson City opened their doors to me for teaching in their gallery, and a few of my students and I were so thankful!

After the gallery opened back up for shows, a friend and student of mine, Penny Jarden, had just bought a building and approached me about having classes there. It was perfect — right off the street, easy access and natural light. I am helping manage the business and have seven or eight classes per month at this location.

We will have our grand opening June 12 and have plans for offering other teachers' opportunities to teach. We have a children's camp planned for July 26-29.

The Art Gallery-Studio, 1014 Northeast Drive, is owned by Jarden, a retired therapist from the prison. She stands back and watches with a big smile on her face, listening to the students talk about how wonderful it is to be there and how they needed this.

From Aug. 17-21, I will be a featured artist at the Missouri State Fair. I will be demonstrating everyday I'm there and selling my book "My Life as an Artist" as well as my artwork. I am thankful for my students, friends and family for all the support they've given me.

Janis Burgin will be the featured artist for the Jefferson City Art Club from May 9-June 2. You can view her artwork at Hawthorn Bank on 3701 W. Truman Blvd. during normal business hours. Also check out her website,

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