Amy Davis Navardauskas has been all over the country but feels like her life has finally come full circle coming back to Chesterton.
Navardauskas has been to a few different cities in Indiana, including West Lafayette and Valparaiso. She was also out West in Denver before making her way back to Chesterton, mainly to be close to family.
“This has always been my home and being close to my family is important to me,” Navardauskas said. “Being here is something that has always felt comfortable and felt right.”
Since coming back to Northwest Indiana, Navardauskas decided to pursue one of her biggest passions—art. Since she was young, Navardauskas has loved to draw in sketchbooks and paint. She credited her art teachers for her progress so far, and her love of art is her motivation for promoting it.
“Art isn’t always a priority, and it should be. It is an important way for people to express themselves,” she said. “It is an outlet that helps a lot of people feel happy, including myself.”
Navardauskas is the Executive Director at the Art Barn School of Art. She helps provide art education and programs for all ages, and is inspired by the creative people in the Region who are helping to build a better community through art.
“We want to bring happiness to everyone through art,” Navardauskas said. “We have so much to offer everyone here so we are going to do that any way that we can.”
Navardauskas' work at Art Barn has also helped her branch out to improve the community. She is part of the Indiana Arts Commission and the Valparaiso Creative Council. Art Barn also works closely with the YMCA and helps the National Park Service with their art programs, providing the teachers for them. Even with the number of programs growing, she knows she wants to keep branching out to bring art and creativity to everyone.
“We want to be a good neighbor and part of being a good neighbor is doing things together,” Navardauskas said. “There are so many other opportunities out there for us, we hope we can keep growing and do as much as we can.”
In her spare time, Navardauskas draws and works on other techniques, such as painting and collages. She also likes to hike with her family.
“I am most excited to see my daughter grow up in this community,” Navardauskas said. “My family is so important to me, and I am glad they get to be here for all the big moments to come.”
Editor's note: Art Barn School of Art programs have been affected by the recent pandemic. For updates, please visit https://www.artbarnschool.org/.