SD Studios is a specialized art school located in a cozy artistic home/studio in North Berwyn.  Students of all ages and skill levels are welcome. At SD Studios our focus is on fostering growth for critical thinking, engaging imaginations and problem solving through exploration. Students gain confidence through supportive and encouraging instruction while learning new techniques and developing an array of artistic skills. Through creative, fun, focus and instruction students excel artistically while engaging in imaginative and thought provoking projects.
Exploration and discovery is supported in an enriching environment based on the interests of the student through a teacher and student collaboration.  Independent problem solving, critical thinking, group discussion and social interaction are promoted.
Themes are suggested or emergent based, determined by discussion, inspiration and individual interests, and are developed into hands-on projects. Art projects are created independently, in pairs or in groups with guidance, suggestions and encouragement but they are never regimented. The process and exploration of art making is more important than the product and students are encouraged to follow their interests and unlock hidden potential..


Hello, S.D. Studios is located in a state licensed Berwyn home/studio and is run by me, Sandra Dawson a mother of three, a certified art teacher, former daycare provider and professional artist of 35 years.

In my earlier teaching days, I taught art in the Chicago area for 10 years. My extensive background includes working with preschool through High School level kids. While employed with CPS I taught at a gifted school, a neighborhood school and taught therapeutic art to children with special needs. I also gained insight working with elementary through highschool students at a Chicago Independent School, and two non-profit organizations: Marwen and A.R.T.

Eventually, being a bit on an entrepreneur, I created my own program traveling to lower income areas and taught art to kids of all ages at various Chicago Public Schools.  When I moved to Oak Park in 1997 I became licensed as a day care provider and designed an art based after school program and summer camp so I could raise my kids and paint from home.  I also taught adult classes at the Oak Park Art League and eventually through my own studios.  I organized an art group with my students, called Blue 8. I have continuously worked as a professional artist while teaching and raising my kids, and continue to show my work at galleries nationwide.  After 17 years of running a highly successful after school care, and working with 100’s of families, I returned to my first love…teaching art!



I just signed our first-grader up for this. If you’re still looking for a day or more of high quality activity for your child after school, I cannot recommend Sandy’s program enough. Our older children (now in middle and high school) went through the SD Studios afterschool program from first-fifth grades, and loved it. It was very good for their creativity and self-expression, they met many great kids with whom they are still friends, and there is a cool art show at the end of the term.

Sandy’s Art Program has been the perfect place for my three children for over eight years. Her warm, nurturing environment makes all children (and parents) feel welcome The benefits of her art therapy will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful that her program was available to our family. I highly recommend her and have referred her to dozens of friends (who also love her program!).
Lourdes Nicholls

‘My girls love their afternoons at Sandy’s. As a parent, I love the creative energy and the caring home environment. I feel that my kids get enough ipads and standardized curriculum in their school day and Sandy’s is a welcome departure into a more individualized and creative place. Sandy’s afterschool program is an Oak Park treasure and a great opportunity for children to spend time creating and in the home of a great artist.’

I like Sandy’s art class very much. It includes lots of colors and unthinkable projects. She is also a very friendly teacher and a very good listener. Sandy talks easily and it is easy to understand what she says. She is very creative and I like her art class.
Laura age 12

Sandy is a great art teacher. I love her class. She does art projects that you will never think of in a million years. I wish she was still my art teacher.
Max Age 11

“Our daughter has attended Sandy’s for the last 4 years and we couldn’t ask for a better experience for her or for our family. Sandy’s art program is exceptional. The kids have full time access to the art room where Sandy instructs, encourages and allows the kids to express their imaginations to the fullest. And then at the end of the school year, Sandy displays the kids’ work in a lovely art show for all the families to attend! Sandy has a huge heart. She is kind, comforting and nurturing with our daughter. We know that when our daughter is with Sandy, she is safe, loved and most of all happy!”
Cathy and Lisa

“Sandra Dawson’s Afterschool Rocks program is exactly what we were looking for when we moved to Oak Park. Sandy is caring, responsive, flexible and supportive of the kids. Her laid back nature makes the kids feel right at home. We highly recommend her afterschool program to any family.”

References are available upon request

SD Studios is owned by Sandra Dawson, professional artist, and certified art teacher, located in Oak Park IL

Offering Studio Classes:  Workshops, Adult Art Classes, Kids Art Classes, and Art Coaching located in Oak Park!

Artist in Residency in our Community:  Preschools, Elementary Schools, Special Needs Centers, Senior Resident Centers and Health Care Centers, 

Art Classes for: Oak Park, Forest Park, Berwyn, River Forest, and Chicago residents.