Amariah Phillips loves art. It’s helped her through some tough times.

“I started doing art during the pandemic when I lost a dear family friend and I just started painting because it helped me cope with my feelings,” Phillips said.

What started as an emotional outlet soon turned into a hobby. From there, it’s become something else.

Phillips’ work is now displayed in two separate Pima County Libraries, and an article detailing her work and journey recently ran in the Pima County Public Library Annual Report.

The public exposure of her work all started with a little initiative.

I started at the Esmond Station Library, and just went in there and asked if theyd like for any art to be put up,” Phillips said.

So far, “everyone has enjoyed it,” according to Phillips.

The library enjoyed her work so much in fact, that Phillips along with her equally artistic friend Rayne Stephens was asked by library management at Quincie Douglas Library to put on a class.

“We got together with Brianna, who is the children’s librarian here and she just kind of went with it and set up a class,” said Javare Phillips, Amariah’s mother.

That class, called “Be Bold, Be Brave,” will be put on for young children between third-and-fifth grade on Friday, March 14.

According to Stephens, students in the class are in for a treat… and a challange.

Were just going to teach them how to express their feelings through art and some art techniques; how to paint simple stuff, but also the deeper stuff,” Stephens said.

Ultimately, Amariah hopes that children that do attend the class walk away with new skills, and a willingness to take on new challenges.

“I want to give kids encouragement in their lives. Because I know some kids dont have that, she said.

For parents interested in signing their kids up for Be Bold, Be Brave, registration is required. For more information and to sign up, call 1-520-594-5335.