Channeling Your (or your child’s) Inner Picasso


Give your kid a glue stick and feathers and she’ll sit for an hour straight and create something Lady Gaga would be proud to wear.  And was that a slight eye roll and yawn we detected the last time mama drew her famous stick figure rainbow sketch for little Sally?  Well, maybe it’s time coloring at the kitchen table was stepped up a notch.  So before your darling child starts using the wall (car, neighbors patio, their leg) as a canvas, enroll them in one of these top notch Bergen art programs.

Walk into the fantasy inspired studio of The Art Place where the walls (and bathroom!) have become an artist’s canvas and watch your kid’s imagination run wild.  Instructors are energetic and creative and really connect with the kids.  The school offers classes for all age groups in drawing, painting and crafts.  New sessions, added for the fall semester, include jewelry making (not just beading) and sewing for the tween and teenage set- and mama can play too with new adult drawing classes offered on Monday mornings. 

The Art Place
490 Curry Avenue, Englewood

Picasso created cubism, Monet, impressionism and you, “stickfigureism”?  Maybe it’s time you wake up your left brain- it’s been too long.  Situated in a 19th century church building, with over 4 working studios and a gallery, The Art School at Old Church will inspire any mind. Interested in photography or glass blowing?  No problem.  One of the school’s professional artists on staff will teach you their craft. This community art school also features “young artists” classes in everything from cartooning to pottery-on-the-wheel for your budding creator.  Classes are an hour and a half and cover all age ranges.

The Art School at Old Church
561 Piermont Road, Demarest

Imagine your child set in a floral garden, flutist playing in the background, just creating.  The Drawing Room offers this experience and others like it designed to get the artistic juices flowing.  Passionate owner Christine Zaccardi loves what she does and it shows in her hands on approach to the ever changing curriculum.  No project is repeated and various themes are woven through mediums such as watercolors, clay, paper mache, and printing.  Called “excellent” by its clientele, this hidden gem encourages thinking outside the box.  The professionally trained staff will also work one on one with teens interested in developing a portfolio of work for presentation to an art program. The studio offers classes for all ages and skill levels, including special needs children. 

The Drawing Room
27 Central Avenue, Midland Park

We’re not exactly sure what the connection is with art and old churches, but The Art Center of Northern New Jersey is located in one.  With one studio dedicated to painting, one studio dedicated to stone sculpture and another for printmaking, the center is fully equipped to handle any artistic interest you or your child want to pursue.  They offer classes for all ages and experience levels and seek to be accessible to all.  The gallery boasts numerous exhibits including a “students show” where your child’s work may be selected for display.  Work exchange and volunteer opportunities are also offered for starving artists (or just those wanting a discount). 

The Art Center of Northern New Jersey
250 Center Street, New Milford

So this fall, take note of your budding artist and book a class for her, or you.

Don’t just give it the “brush off”.

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