Monart Drawing Studio (Berkeley, CA)
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Monart Drawing Studio (Berkeley, CA)
My 12-year-old daughter has been taking drawing lessons at Monart in Berkeley
for a few months, and she loves it so much she signed up for summer camp. Mona
Brooks, the founder of Monart, is an amazing teacher who is passionate in her
belief that art is a skill that can be taught to anyone, not a rare talent
possessed by a few born artists. Her method is a perfect balance of structure
and freedom to create. The work produced by her students is quite remarkable.
The summer offerings all look so interesting, my daughter had a hard time
choosing: Manga, African Safari, Russian Art & Architecture, Rainforest
Adventure, Australian Walkabout. (She finally settled on Russian.) We were on
a waiting list for some time before getting into a class, and I think the
summer camps fill up quickly also. www.berkeleymonart.com
Re: Art classes in East Bay for 8 & 10 yos
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!!!!!
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.
Editor Note (April 2011)
The reviews below refer to Monart in Oakland and Alameda, which
are no longer in business.
Re: Art instruction for kids
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
Re: Full day art camp for elementary aged child
You should check out Monart in Oakland. They also have a studio
in Alameda. My son attended the summer camp last year and he
loves it! He now goes to the weekly art program after school as
well. Monart offers different themes each week. My son gets to be
creative while learning drawing techniques on the subject. Kids
are also provides fun facts about the subject. My son looks
forward to his Monart class everyday! Monart has an open house
coming up in Oakland. Check it out: http://www.oakland.monart.com/
There are not too many activities that teens and parents can do together
and both enjoy but we have discovered one that we want to share. The
Monart School of the Arts (540-4877), located on LeRoy in the Berkeley
Montessori School building. has a Tuesday evening class for adults and
older teens. This is art at its best and requires no prior, formal
training. It is done in a non-competitive, nonjudgmental environment.
It is a joy to attend and gives us something to do together that we both
look forward to. They introduce a variety of media and techniques and
will sharpen your skills not matter your level of achievement or
Monart, located in the old Hillside School on Leroy near Cedar in
Berkeley, offers drawing classes for kids after school. I think they're
pretty good. It's not arts-and-craftsy at all, although it seems to be
fun. The kids learn techniques to really draw things. The phone number is
540-4877. (It's also in the phone book.)
The Monart School of the Arts offers serious instruction for
children. Their approach is on a higher level than typical classes for
children, and the students' works are impressive. 1581 Le Roy Ave.,
this page was last updated: May 18, 2014
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