Actor Jake Lockwood helps wife Heather to locate the best viewing angles for a piece of art she’s working on in her Beavercreek home studio, where she offers a wide range of classes and special projects and events for all ages. CONTRIBUTED

Art is at the heart of Lockwood family members

From Dayton to Vandalia and Beavercreek, family part of community theater, dance and visual arts scene.

The Lockwood name has been familiar to community theater-goers for 30-plus years, but the family’s credits also include dance, music and visual arts.

Dodie and Jim, now in their 70s, met in a production when she was a dancer and he played French horn for the Air Force Orchestra. Later, as they became actors and directors in local community theater, she also choreographed productions.

Now, their daughter and son, Jennifer and Jake, act and direct in local theater, and Jake’s wife, Heather, who, like her mother-in-law, met her husband while dancing, has added visual art to the family resume.

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“After studying at Wright State, I moved to Orlando in 1992 to work as an actor at Disney World,” said Jake. Although he performed in many venues there, “I was the emcee at The Diamond Horse when I met Heather. She was a can-can dancer.”

A Pennsylvania native, Heather had majored in dance at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, then headed to Disney World, where she danced until Sept. 11, 2001. The couple married the following month, unaware of the effect 9/11 would have on their jobs.

“After 9/11, it was feared that tourism would suffer as people were afraid to fly, so they closed a lot of our shows,” said Heather. “I was laid off, so I turned to art, my second passion.”

Heather opened an art studio in their Florida home and, in addition to making her own art, gave private lessons.

They moved back and forth from Florida to Dayton several times during the following years, and when the couple returned to Dayton to stay in 2016, she opened an art studio in their Beavercreek home.

“I offer all sorts of classes, many that kids don’t usually get to do, like woodburning and mosaic glass,” she said. “Classes are usually for kids 5-15, but I also have adult and home-school classes. The facility is small, so I usually work with no more then eight home-school students.”

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She also offers special event art programs like the “gift-giving” 3-hour, 3-gift class offered last month.

She and Jake are also resident teaching artists with Muse Machine – he in theater, she in art.

“Heather and Jake Lockwood are excellent teaching artists who understand the power of quality arts integration,” said Michael Lippert, Director of The Muse Machine Preschool & Elementary Program.

In addition to work with The Muse Machine, Jake’s an adjunct theater instructor at WSU and works with the Human Race and Vandalia Youth Theater, while Heather teaches at the Dayton Art Institute, is a member of the Dayton Society of Artists, and shows her own work at various sites in and around Dayton.

Although Heather works in many mediums as classes, productions and jobs require, she notes that, in her own work for exhibits and galleries, “my main medium is mixed media - I try to never use the same medium twice. And, my subject matter seems to go with nature or social issues.“

As an active member of the local visual arts scene, she introduces her studio students to the work of other local artists, then has the artist visit the class to talk to the students.

As a team, she and Jake still do some projects together. In addition to classes at The Muse Machine, “at the Beavercreek Youth Theater, I’ve directed and she’s painted sets,” says Jake.

Heather, like Dodie, no longer dances, but Dodie has taken up visual art.

“Her studio classes range from painting to all sorts of crafts,” Dodie said. “She has several kids’ classes a week, including regular classes for home-schooled kids, and she offers single and multi-week classes for adults. I have taken several classes and love them.”

The Lockwood Creation Studio, located on North Central Drive in Beavercreek, can be found on facebook. To get an updated schedule of adult, after-school and homeschool classes, go to the studio website, or call 407-399-2729.

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