Tina Mangos opened her dance and art studio, Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty, in Westfield because of the city’s expanding arts culture.
“I think it’s a great location, and the other reason is I want to contribute to enhancing the arts and culture in Westfield,” said Mangos, a Carmel resident. “I know there’s more that can be done, so I really look forward to collaborating with other people in the community because I want to see more of an arts and culture presence in Westfield.”
A Carmel resident, Mangos was inspired by the vibrant arts district in Carmel.
“I know Carmel is pretty well set in a lot of those areas, and I really have gotten to know people in Westfield, and I feel that’s a good place to contribute and to see the arts and culture grow,” she said.
Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty is at 989 East St. in Westfield. With a background in dance and art, Mangos decided to combine the two into one studio.
“I am offering art classes for youth and I also am offering stretch, fitness and dance classes for adults,” Mangos said. “Especially with art, I focus on cross-training your brain and working on using the left side to do problem solving and figure out things as you move along in the creative process.”
Most of the art classes are two-dimensional, but there are some sculptural projects and mixed media.
“I’m focusing on the process of getting to the final product,” Mangos said.
Prior to moving to Carmel, Mangos lived in Chicago, where she was a high school art teacher.
“I don’t want to be retired,” she said. “I want to continue teaching and continue being in the arts.”
Mangos teaches art classes for children ages 10 and older. She doesn’t offer adult arts classes but welcomes input and encourages fellow artists and teachers to contact her to get a group going.
Besides teaching art, Mangos also taught ballroom dance for 35 years.
“I created a lot of different dance-based fitness classes back in the ‘80s,” she said. “It’s a VHS tape. I did a video called ‘Fit to Work’ showing working people how to do exercises on the job. I always have believed in doing fitness and health and stretching while you’re at work. That was before you could pull something up on your laptop and it wasn’t as common to walk by somebody’s cubicle and see them stretching at their desk.”
Mangos moved Indiana because of higher living expenses in Chicago. She recently joined the Westfield Chamber of Commerce to network, which has become more challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mangos prefers face-to-face networking.
“I’m old school that way,” she said. “Right now, it’s a lot of networking and it’s trying to convince parents that it’s a clean and safe environment. I’m only having a few people at a time and am being extra careful about social distancing and having everybody be clean. It is challenging for all of us out there trying to network with different groups and with moms. I’m very old school. I have never been on Facebook and hopefully will never be on Facebook. I know it limits me, but I just don’t want to be on Facebook. I welcome collaboration with people in the community.”
Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty owner Tina Mangos said she would love to work with more homeschoolers on a long-term art project instead of one-day pop-ups.
“I have so many years in education and I’m focused on curriculum and developing skills over time,” she said.
She also wants to see more dancing opportunities for residents.
“One thing I realized after I moved down from Chicago is there isn’t much dancing going on,” she said. “I would really love to see people out there dancing.”
For more, visit tinamangosarts.com.