Art Classes for Kids
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Elementary School Kids
Hi - I am looking for art / drawing classes for my 8 yr old.
The only classes I can find are on weekday afternoons but
we need something on the weekend. Anywhere in the East Bay
will work. Any suggestions?
The Richmond Art Center
has Saturday art classes for children. I have
friends whose children have taken the preschool art class and loved it.
I took some great classes there as a child. Your question reminded me
to check out their schedule! They seem to have a nice program of
classes for kids and adults.
Art loving mom
The hidden gem in the Bay Area is the Richmond Art Center located at
2540 Barrett Avenue in Richmond near the new city center offices. Check
out their website at www.therac.org and their phone number is
510-620-6772. They have a variety of classes available and the teachers
are all wonderful, with very good training and experience themselves. I
have found the teachers to be very understanding of children's
abilities in art and very encouraging of helping them to develop their
gifts in art. My child has taken classes at the RAC for four years,
since age four, and we couldn't be more pleased. Prices for classes are
very reasonable. The RAC is a goldmine with wonderful classes for all
ages. Please check them out!!
A RAC supporter spreading the word!
Could anyone recommend a good program for Art Classes in the EAst BAy?
I am looking for classes for my 8 and 11 year old children.
Several months ago we were searching for an affordable art class for
my 7 year old daughter who spends a lot of time involved in her art
projects and we are very happy to have discovered Monart art classes
at Dwight and MLK in Berkeley. This location has just opened and the
classes are taught by the woman who founded Monart. The founder has a
lot of experience in teaching art, has some lovely philosophical
stances about doing it and seems to really know what works well for
kids in this kind of setting. My daughter, who often doesn't cotton
to structured classes of any kind, really loves these art lessons.
Good luck in your search. The website is www.berkeleymonart.com.
Phone # 350-7402. Location: 2500 Martin Luther KIng.
We just found a new art class for our daughter. It is taught
by Mona Brooks, the founder of Monart Drawing school. Mona
recently moved to Berkeley area to be close to her family.
Every class the students get a handout about the project and
a drawing guidance list. On the handout there is scientific
information, for example about butterflies and moths, and on
the drawing page they practice elements of the design. We
love that the program is very well thought through and every
lesson builds up the skills. Check out the website
www.berkeleymonart.com for the class schedules.
My son has really enjoyed Monart drawing classes taught by
Mona Brookes in Berkeley. Mona believes that drawing is a
skill that can be taught and learned, similar to learning to
dance or play an instrument. She teaches children (and
adults) how to think visually and gives them a vocabulary of
elements that are used to create beautiful drawings. It is
somewhat structured, but within the basic structure there is
a lot of room for freedom of expression.
I think it is great to expose children to all sorts of
materials, messy art, to focus on process and not so much
product, and to allow them to let their creativity soar. At
the same time, when my son became very interested in drawing
(around age 7 for him) and perspective and how you make
things look the way you want them to look, he started the
Monart drawing classes to develop some basic drawing skills.
Check out her website, and I'm sure your child could do a
trial class to see whether it's what you are looking for.
My son has only been taking art classes with Mona Brookes of
Monart Berkeley since March but comes home with these
beautiful pictures each week, even from the first class. When I pick
him up, I can't wait to see what all the kids
have drawn. At the end of class, the kids show their
pictures to each other and to the parents. He has drawn a
bird in a branch, an ocelot, horses, a rabbit, flowers in a
pitcher, and a chameleon - which have all come out
beautifully. Mona takes suggestions for what to draw. The
kids get at least two handouts each class: 1) one about the
subject they are drawing (for example, for the animals they
learn qualities about the animals such as the chameleon's
tongue is 2x longer than it's body size, the area of the
world the animal comes from, its habitat, age appropriate
books on that animal/subject, etc.) and 2) one breaking down
the features of the subject. So for the chameleon, the
sheet shows parts of the body, the leg, eye, scales, etc. The kids
practice drawing the parts of the chameleon first
and then put it all together to draw the entire animal. It's a really
cool technique. The drawings come out so
beautifully that we've run out to Blick to buy the markers
and colored pencils that Mona uses in her classes to finish
the drawings at home. Mona also sells some supplies at cost
and has published some books that I haven't had the
opportunity to read yet. What a Great Find in Berkeley! FIVE STARS
for Mona Brookes and Monart!!!!!
we LOVE YAWS!
jen also runs a fabulous summer camp:
we're always blown away by the art that comes home after a
yaws class/camp. and our kids (7 and 9) have loved going to
her classes for the past 4+ years.
Our daughter just started taking classes at Monart a month ago and she
loves it, she always waves when we drive by on the weekends and looks
forward to going. The classes are focused on learning how to draw
through studying shapes, shading, etc., and I wish such a class had
been around when I was a kid.
Mona takes making art seriously, and the kids really respond to this.
Our daughter dreams of being the class clown, and has never liked to
sit still, but she focuses for ninety minutes during Mona's class,
which is a record. The work that the kids do is amazing, and I think
that it has helped her focus in general.
My daughter is 5 years old and very interested in art. I
would like to find her an art teacher who can teach her how
to draw and some basic fundamentals. We live in the
Rockridge area so ideally the art teacher or camp would be
in the Oakland/Berkeley area. She is also very shy so
putting her in a camp with a bunch of older kids isn't
really an option. We are willing to do private lessons or
group. Thank you! Looking for an art teacher
check out YAWS
(Young Artist Workspace) located at Totland
(Virginia & McGee) in Berkeley. I hear great things about
it. http://www.youngartistsworkspace.org/ Maxine
Oakland Park & Rec
has very good classes at the montclair
rec center. i don't remember the teachers name but she was
wonderful & the classes are very inexpensive! Alex
I'm looking for an afterschool, weekend or summer drawing
class for my 6-year old daughter. She does not seem to be
particularly interested in other types of art-making, but
has developed a passion for drawing. For that reason, I'm
trying to find a class that specifically focuses on drawing
techniques, rather than a general art class. I saw several
recommendations in the archives for Monart in Berkeley, but
it appears to have closed. Any other recommendations for
classes in the Oakland/Berkeley/Lamorinda area would be
appreciated. Thanks! Mom to budding illustrator
I recommend that you look in to the art program
YAWS run by
http://www.youngartistsworkspace.org/about-us/. Jen has the
skills to bring out the most creative work from children. My
children have loved working with her. She is a woman with a
deep soul and a soaring spirit! richtoad
We love YAWS, but those classes don't fit into my kids'
schedule. Any other recommendations for art classes in Berkeley or El Cerrito? I
have an 8 year old and a 10 year old, but they don't have to be in the same
There's a great drawing class for kids ages 8-12 at
Brushstrokes Studio. A
new session starts in January. It's called The Art Loft: A Classical
Drawing Program for Kids.
We've had great experiences at Brushstrokes with many camps and classes. My
8yo daughter will be in this class, too. (She's been very anxious to turn 8
because of it!)
Maybe we'll see you there.
Drawing painting and clay after school Tues & Weds through the Albany
My 7 yr old daughter is very interested in drawing and painting, and
shows some great talent. I am struggling, however, to find a
drawing/painting class for her age.
We do not want to focus on general art exploration or arts and crafts,
but rather primarily drawing and painting.
I had tried Studio One in Oakland, but classes are frequently
cancelled due to lack of enrollment. MOCHA doesn't seem to offer
focused classes and Jr. Center for Art and Science doesn't provide
classes like this for 7yr olds right now.
Any other ideas???
We live on the Oakland/San Leandro border and spend a lot of time in
downtown Oakland for school etc.
My daughter is 8 and has been taking a really great drawing class with Aliea
Wallace, who used to teach at the now closed Oakland/Alameda Monart studio.
The class is focused strictly on drawing, but they use a variety of
mediums-pencils, markers, oil/chalk pastels, watercolor paints etc... Each
lesson has a theme, for instance last week they drew squirrels, the week before
the Titanic, and before that they had a live bird to draw. They are also
learning how to see and how to break down their observations into small
geometric units which are easier to draw.
We live in North Oakland, but drive out to Alameda for her class, which is 1 1/2
hours once a week. She also does 1 hour classes for younger kids. Aliea has more
info available on her website http://www.aliea.com
Does anyone know of an ongoing art class for a Kindergartner who wants to explore all
kinds of media? I have found one-time classes, but am interested in a class that
meets weekly or something. Thanks!
My kids are too old for these, so I can't give specific
but I know there are kids' after-school art classes at
Village (Albany/Berkeley border)
and Albany community center
http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=537 (click on youth
activities for catalog)
I imagine other cities offer similar classes.
This is on the other side of the tunnel in Lafayette, but well
worth the trip if it's possible for you.
My 8 y/o is a drawing fiend - not painting or other media as much
- but cartooning and drawing. Most art classes don't really do
intensive training for accomplished drawers. Does anyone know of
a teacher or class that maybe meets once or twice a week for
drawing and is viewed as continuous training (like piano
lessons)? Prefer Lamorinda or WC but will go elsewhere.
The Cartoon Art Museum in SanFrancisco has good classes for kids.
It's on Mission Street by the Chronicle Building and it is easy to
park in the 12th street garage.
A few years back, my son took did a week of summer camp at
Oakland's Museum of Children's Art (mocha). If I remember correctly,
it was on how to put together your own comic book, so they focused
not only on the drawing but on the storyboards as well. I would bet
they have other courses during the year. I noticed on their web site
they have a winter camp, but it isn't solely on drawing or
This summer, my son and I visited the Cartoon Museum in San
Francisco. That was pretty fun. They also had some summer programs.
I just checked their website and it didn't show classes offered
currently , so they might only do those during summer. You could get
on their mailing list to be alerted to upcoming opportunities.
I am looking for recommendations for an after-school art class for my
5-year-old daughter. She loves to draw and paint and sculpt and isn't
getting as much of it in public elementary school as she did in
preschool! I would love to find an inspirational teacher who she
could really connect with. We do a lot of art at home, but I'm
envisioning a class where she'd have more materials at hand and/or
We live in central Berkeley, so something in Berkeley, Albany, or
North Oakland would be great.
More Art Please!
For your 5-year-old, look into the Young Artists Work Space at
Totland. The classes are taught by Jennifer in the small,
mural-covered building. Another great option, for ages 6-12, is
Art for Kids taught by Teresa Holtgraves. She teaches small
groups (of 5 kids) in her charming home studio in Albany, near
the Solano Safeway.
My kids have loved Jen Burke's art classes YAWS. They are held at
Totland a few afternoons/week. Jen is wonderful with the kids and
an amazing teacher. There is a new session beginning soon.
You can reach her at email@example.com
I highly recommend the San Francisco Children's Art Center
Fort Mason. I am a practicing artist and educator who taught
there for 8 years and know the program quite well. I am still in
frequent contact with Gail Tarantino, the main instructor at
SFCAC. Gail is the best children's art teacher you will ever
find. The program is set up to provide the children with
opportunities to try different materials and techniques. The
instructors are responsive to the students needs and interests.
More info at: http://www.childrensartcenter.org/
we love YAWS (young artists workshop) run by jennifer burke and held
at totland park in the little building there. she also runs fabulous
weekly summer camps from her home. her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
My daughter loves drawing and painting. I am trying to get her
some classes that teaches basic techniques. We have tried several
places, most art classes I would say is exploration, which she has
plenty of in after school club.
The best classes we had is at the Art Room in Laffayette, but it
is pretty hard to get 4 kids at the same level and age together at
the same time. A lot of times, the much older kids does not really
want to work on the drawing and in the end, they succeeded in
getting the teacher to do some other projects. I am looking for
semi private/private instruction fit my daughter's needs. I have
heard a lot of artists in Berkeley and lamorinda area, does anyone
have any recommendations?
My 8 year old daughter LOVES Monart. She attends the half-day
camp, but they have drawing lessons as well.
One of the weeks she went was about bridges. They taught her
basic engineering (large bases, triangles create strength, etc.)
Then taught her to draw covered bridges, suspension bridges,
walking bridges. The week ended with the kids drawing the Golden
Gate Bridge and a t-shirt being made of the drawing. It was very
MonArt uses very high quality materials and the class sizes are
small. My daughter attended the Telegraph Avenue/Oakland camp,
but they also have a camp in Alameda.
My Kid LOVES MonArt!
Try Monart in Oakland or Alameda. My daughter has been taking
weekly drawing classes there since she was 4 and loves it. They
have classes for all ages and summer camp. Their site is
Run, do not walk, to the Junior Center of Art and Science in
Oakland on Lake Merritt. They have great classes for kids of
all ages and they really teach technique. The best art my
children have ever produced is what they have done in classes
there. Google them to find their website.
I'm looking for art classes for a 9-year-old who really enjoys
art and wants art lessons. The recommendations I find are suited
for children of different ages, or concern the Berkeley School of
the Arts/Monart program which seems to have closed. If you know
of good classes or teachers anywhere in the Bay Area, please
Definitely worth checking out the offerings at the
Richmond Art Center.
(then click on education)
They offer quarterly classes aimed at different ages . We've loved them and given it is a
fine art community-based center with a gallery, it feels very ''alive.'' I think you'll like
Children's Art Center in Fort Mason in SF. This is THE BEST
place for art for kids. Really, really gifted teachers who take
the time and encourage true creativity
I am looking for a good drawing class for my almost 6-year-old son.
He has been drawing enthusastically since he was almost four, and he
is quite prolific and, I think, talented. I am looking for something
that focuses on drawing itself, for that seems to be his primary
interest. We live in the Berkeley/Claremont area, and he goes to
school in Oakland near Lake Merritt. Any recommendations would be
Monart School of the Arts Berkeley
Art Classes for Preschoolers
Can anyone suggest art classes for a preschooler/soon-to-be
kindergartner in the Albany/Berkeley/El Cerrito area? I've come
across the YAWS classes in Totland but the timing may not work.
Are there alternatives? We're looking for something fun that
offers a little more coaching than an open studio like Habitot.
Thanks for any referrals!
Check with the Park & Rec department in the cities you're interested
in, for example Berkeley's at
taken a number of fun preschool art (and sports) classes through the
Oakland P&R Dept. They're reasonably priced, offered at locations
all over the city, and I think sometimes overlooked with so many
other kid-class options in the Bay Area.
Your Tax Dollars at Work
We are looking for more interesting music and art classes for our
nearly-3-year-old daughter. We do lots of art at
home, but I am not an artist and can only teach a limited amount.
It would be nice to start her in ''real'' art classes where she
could start playing with paints and clays and working on longer
projects. It seems to me that even young kids are naturally
drawn to music and art, so there must be teachers out there who
allow them to follow that interest!
For art classes, check out Children's Art Studio in Alameda (on
High Street at Santa Clara).
They have a class for 2-5 year olds that you can just drop into,
Tues - Sat mornings. There is an organized project the kids can
work on with the instructor, or just explore the various art
stations set up in the studio on their own. My daughters love it!
(Editor Note: As of 2011, Children's Art Studio in Alameda has closed)
I would like to highly recommend the classes offered at
The Richmond Art Center. My son has
been taking the ''I Love Art'' class with Lisa Di Prima, a teacher he adores, since he was
three and asks to sign up at every new session. We took a break and tried dance, soccer and
t-ball, but it's the art classes he always comes back to. I think it's because of Lisa as
much as the activity of making art. She's very engaging for the little ones. And, in fact,
offers classes FOR ALL AGES.
It's not a long drive if you live in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito (or Richmond, of
course) and so worth it.
(Click on education). Classes are quarterly
Happy Art Kid's Mama
I would like to take my son to an art class. I really
appreciate if you could give me some information
regarding art classes for 3 years old in East Bay
besides Habitot (Habitot sounds good but the schedule
doesn't work for us). I have checked the UC parent
website, Berkeley Child Art Studio sounds really good
but I can't find the phone number anywhere. fei lin
A very friendly and approachable art teacher started an art program at
Totland, the Berkeley City Park at McGee and Virginia(?). I actually am not
sure if it is still happening. It was called YAWS - Youth Arts Work Space.
They did have studio time for young kids.
If you go there, you will find out if it is still happening and your child
can play at the play ground so it wouldn't be a wasted trip. With kids
input, the art teacher painted the wonderful mural on the exterior of the
building, which make the place so inviting and invigorating.
MOCHA has a drop in "Little Studio" for creative expression and exploration
in the arts. It is open during the day Tues - Sun. for drop-in. (check
hours at www.mocha.org). Preschool groups can schedule field trip visits.
The Little Studio will not "teach" your child how to draw, but will provide
materials to explore and create and support children at their developmental
levels. It costs $3 per visit and kids are not turned away for lack of
Try your local rec center. The Montclair Rec Center in Oakland, for instance, seems to have a lot of art classes on various days for kids this age.
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