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Arts & Culture

Top Kids Art Classes In Connecticut

May 5, 2014 8:00 AM

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Inside every kid lives an artist, and fortunately in Connecticut, there are many centers, workshops, galleries and schools that are eager to help bring that creative soul to light. From throwing pots to throwing paint on paper, or from working with photography to combining art and yoga, there are many places where parents can take their children to help them discover and improve upon their artistic talents. Some of these places offer classes and programs and parties that are just for fun for an afternoon or evening, while others provide an art school environment can truly help a burgeoning artist blossom.

Creative Arts Workshop
80 Audobon St.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 562-4927
www.creativeartsworkshop.org

The Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven is situated in the very heart of the city’s art district. The community center-based operation offers programs in many artistic disciplines for both beginning and advanced students of all ages. Each year, more than 1,000 children (and twice that number of adults) pass through its classrooms. Some come for a few days or weeks, and others come back over and over again for different or more advanced classes in pottery, photography, painting, sculpture, print making, drawing, jewelry making and other artistic pursuits. Classes for children from two to five years old if accompanied by a parent are offered, as is instruction for school children, where classes are structured by grade. The Creative Arts Workshop offers multi-discipline programs, such as “Mixed Media Mania” where kids build models and dioramas and other creations, and classes where art and exercise are combined, like “Art and Yoga” and building tree houses.

The Rowayton Arts Center
145 Rowayton Ave.
Rowayton, CT 06853
(203) 866-2744
www.rowaytonartscenter.org

For more than half a century, the Rowayton Arts Center has been helping teach and inspire children and other young artists in the Norwalk area. From very loosely-structured “Art Parties” held in the upper floor of an old fire house that overlooks the water to more focused classes, the Rowayton Arts Center provides children with a setting and opportunity to let their imaginations soar as they create works of art in many disciplines. Rowayton provides an “arts school environment” for those children and other students who are either serious about their art or are just exploring the arts and looking for ways to express themselves while having some fun.

Related: Top Pottery Painting Classes For Kids In Connecticut

The Giggling Pig Art Studio
478 River Road
Shelton, CT 06484
(203) 919-1153
www.thegigglingpigartstudio.com

At The Giggling Pig Art Studio, little monsters are encouraged to make “Little Monsters.” Children either on their own or “Mommy and Me” or “Piglets” level classes design and make their own silly or scary creatures on or from paper, dough or clay, the last two of which are then baked or fired so the kids can paint or otherwise decorate them to their imagination’s desire. Director Hannah Perry has a team of professional artists and art school graduates at her beck and call to help kids of all ages bring their ideas to life. The atmosphere is fun, friendly and welcoming, and parents can either drop off, stay, participate or take adults-only classes, as The Giggling Pig offers options for artists and would-be artists of all ages.

The Yarn Barn
1666 Litchfield Turnpike
Woodbridge, CT 06525
(203) 389-5117
www.theyarnbarn.com

Knitting is an art, and at The Yarn Barn in Woodbridge, knitters of all ages and levels are welcome. There are classes and circles for children and teens, some with and some without adults, and The Yarn Barn also puts on unique knitting birthday parties, where teachers help kids who have never held a pair of needles take their first steps to creating something that is artistic, practical or both. The Yarn Barn claims to have the widest selection of yarn in the state, as well as the largest space devoted to knitting classes and parties of any similar establishment. Individual instruction, mending, finishing and problem-solving services are also provided.

The Claypen
997 Farmington Ave.
W. Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 233-3322
www.theclaypen.com

From the name alone, it is evident that The Claypen is a playful place for potters. Owner Jessica Fleming and her team are experienced professional potters, but they are also potters who love kids – and especially love introducing children to their corner of the art world. From quick, in-and-out 30-minute introductory sessions to all-day “paint ‘till you faint” marathons, Ms. Fleming and company provide potters of all ages an opportunity to create and especially to paint their creations. The Claypen specializes in setting up programs for Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and holds after-school, weekend day and weekend evening classes for kids. Parents can drop off their children Friday and Saturday night and pick them back up at 9 p.m., giving themselves a short date night for not much more than the price of a babysitter.  Even better, the kids will be doing something artistic, rather than just sitting at home, and will have a souvenir to show for it.

Related: Top Spots for Kids Summer Art Activities in Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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