Carmelite woman opens dance and art studio in Westfield • Current Publishing

Tina Mangos opened her dance and art studio, Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty, in Westfield due to the city’s expanding artistic culture.

“I think it’s a great location, and the other reason is that I want to help improve the arts and culture in Westfield,” said Mangos, a resident of Carmel. “I know there is more to do, so I’m really looking forward to collaborating with others in the community because I want to see more of an artistic and cultural presence in Westfield.”

A resident of Carmel, Mangos was inspired by Carmel’s vibrant arts district.

“I know Carmel is pretty well established in a lot of these areas, and I’ve really gotten to know people in Westfield, and I think it’s a great place to contribute and to see the arts and culture develop. “she said.

Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty is located at 989 East St. in Westfield. With a background in dance and art, Mangos decided to combine the two into one studio.

“I offer art classes for young people and I also offer stretching, fitness and dance classes for adults,” Mangos said. “Especially with art, my focus is on cross-training your brain and using the left side to problem solve and figure things out as you go through the creative process.”

Most art classes are two-dimensional, but there are sculptural projects and mixed media.

“I’m focusing on the process of getting the end product,” Mangos said.

Before 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 to be in the arts. “
Mangos gives art lessons to children aged 10 and over. She does not offer adult art classes, but accepts comments and encourages fellow artists and teachers to contact her to start a group.

In addition to teaching art, Mangos also taught ballroom dancing for 35 years.

“I created a lot of dance-based fitness classes in the 80s,” she said. “It’s a VHS tape. I made a video called “Fit to Work” showing workers how to do exercises on the job. I’ve always believed in fitness, health, and stretching while you’re at work. This was before you could pull something up on your laptop and it wasn’t as common to walk past someone’s cubicle and see them stretch out at their desk.

Mangos moved to Indiana due to higher living expenses in Chicago. She recently joined the Westfield Chamber of Commerce to network, which has become more difficult due to 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 we’re trying to convince parents that it’s a clean and safe environment. I only have a few people at a time and I’m very careful with social distancing and keeping everyone clean. It’s a challenge for all of us to try to network with different groups and with moms. I am very old school. I have never been on Facebook and I hope I never will be on Facebook. I know it limits me, but I just don’t want to be on Facebook. I look forward to working with people in the community.

And after

Athena House for Wisdom, Creativity and Beauty owner Tina Mangos said she would like to work with more home students on a long-term art project instead of one-day pop-ups.

“I have so many years of study and focus on the curriculum and skill development over time,” she said.

She also wants to see more dancing opportunities for residents.

“One thing I realized after moving from Chicago is that there isn’t a lot of dancing,” she said. “I would really like to see people dancing there.”

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