People of Borough: Valeen Bhat

Valeen Bhat
 Originally Written for Queen Ledger

Valeen Bhat realized her childhood dreams of becoming an art teacher after starting Private Picassos seven years ago.

Bhat was raised on a sheep farm in New Jersey by her parents, who were both artists. She ventured to New York at the age of 18 to study art.

“I always knew I wanted to come to New York,” Bhat said.

With in-home and on-site lessons in printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpting and more, Bhat said Private Picassos is willing to “tailor to students,” meaning the private classes are flexible with content and schedule.

“We customize to each client,” she said.

Her students range in age from as young as 18 months to adults, but she says her average client is in the age range of two to eight years old.

“I love working with kids,” Bhat said.

She says young children are more likely to be creative and explore, and do not worry about making mistakes and being wrong or right.

“Older kids put pressure on themselves,” she explained.

Bhat said her art school teaches lessons that will help in other aspects of life as well.

“It’s a great outlet,” she explained. “It helps them become stronger adults.”

Bhat says the best thing about her art school is the self-confidence it gives her students.

“My favorite moment is when my students are quietly working,” she said about getting them “in the zone.”

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