There are few things more inspiring to me than an art studio for kids. I love them. They are so full of energy and potential and curiosity. Each studio is uniquely different based on the artist/educator behind it. I have had the good fortune of getting to know many passionate art educators by following their instagram feeds and then connecting on a more personal level through different workshops, Facebook groups, etc. I thought it might be helpful if I shared my absolute favorite art studios for kids across the United States. Each studio below values the process of art and works to foster creative thinking and problem solving skills through visual and hands-on experiences. If you are lucky enough to travel to any one of these cities, do yourself and your child a solid and hit up these amazing art studios for kids! You won’t regret it. Tell them Meri Cherry sent you.
I have not been to every one of these studios in person, BUT, I have connected with almost all of the owners in some way which has lead me to stand behind the studios they have created. I would take my children to attend any one of these studios for a class…or twelve. They all inspire me to create!
Samara’s incredible studio in East Los Angeles is a perfect place to start. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of visiting Samara’s process based art studio on several occasions. If traffic wasn’t so dang impossible in LA I’d be there weekly just to pick her brain and take in all the incredible creativity that is happening in her studio. Plus, my kids would live here. Just look at these incredible fabric flowers above?!?!? Are they not insane?? Run, don’t walk to this studio if you visit or live close by. It’s fantastic and Samara knows what she’s doing when it comes to process based exploration. Not to mention she’s a ceramicist by training and has a kiln in the studio. Teach me your ways Samara!!!
Gemma has a bright happy space nestled into a cozy shopping center in Westlake Village. Her space focuses on recycled materials and allows children to create their heart’s desire from all the tubs and tubs of materials lining her walls. My girls love it here. It’s a great spot to meet for a playdate. Moms can chat and create while kids do the same. A great tinkering space for all ages!
Cara is a veteran teacher turned studio owner who offers classes, parties and camps in Thousand Oaks. Children create art with encouragement and creative freedom while learning fine art skills and techniques. I met Cara at play group with her fantastic son and watching her interact with him and honor his creative process let me know right away her studio values the process of art and student’s individual ideas. I can’t wait to visit!
Meri Cherry (that’s me!) offers private, process driven art classes throughout Los Angeles and just recently opened her own process based art studio for kids in Los Angeles offering classes, open studio, birthday parties and ladies craft nights.
The Bay Area
Megan is a veteran Reggio teacher who has shifted gears to creating art studios for kids that encourage exploration, independence and joyful learning. I’ve included her here because her ebook should not be missed if you are interested in creating an art space at home or in the classroom. I highly recommend it!
Talented artist and educator Julia Linsteadt, runs a mobile art studio that partners with Local galleries, art studios, and family businesses to bring creativity and art fun directly to the families of local communities. Julia bring the tables, chairs, art supplies, and enthusiasm. She serves the communities of Contra Costa County (mainly Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Walnut Creek). Check out her amazing instagram feed. The creativity she shares is off the charts!
Rachelle has created “An art studio that celebrates each of us as makers.” Sign me up right there! She offers drop in art studio hours and workshops and does a fantastic job of creating an environment that is engaging, thoughtful and stimulating for kids and adults alike. If I lived in San Francisco I’d go to every one of Rachelle’s events. She is a truly talented educator that walks the walk and talks the talk.
How’s this for color?! Ami’s studio, in the mountains of Carbondale, Colorado, is bursting with the magic and the joy of art and creativity. The fun jumps off of every picture. If only I were Mary Poppins, I would jump right into her color scenes. Ami’s projects are full of sophisticated, yet doable creativity and make you want to ride off into a rainbow glitter sunset.
What’s not to love about this happy creative space in New Canaan, Connecticut. The colors are so inviting and the natural light is incredible. It looks good enough to eat. I started stalking Bar many years ago and we soon became good friends. We’ve even visited each other on both coasts! I respect her work immensely and only wish my girls could come home with her candy colored projects that make you want to be a child again. If you’re close by and can sign up for one of her classes, goooooo!
This brand new art studio, set up by my friend Meredith, is a magical space where kids can explore, experiment and learn. Meredith created a light filled, gorgeous space that any child would be lucky to create in. I’ve followed Meredith’s blog, Homegrown Friends for years, and what I’ve continually noticed is Meredith’s heartfelt focus on equality, compassion and empathy. Though we’ve never met in person, I know Meredith brings these powerful qualities into all that she does.
Are you in Chicago? If so, you must stop by Marina’s transformed garage space and take a class. She encourages her budding artists to turn everyday objects into works of art through the most fun projects. Marina’s work is bursting with color, creativity and fun. Her classes are fun for for all ages and judging from her blog and instagram account, you will love them! You can see a list of her upcoming schedule here.
I am dying to go to this studio! Every process and project looks like so much fun. There are tons of options for classes and even some adult workshops. I haven’t put much thought into visiting Kentucky, but now I think I need to!
Kim at Beehive Studio is one of my art teacher idols. I saw a few shots of her work on pinterest a few years ago and immediately fell in love. With every picture she shares in her instagram feed I am more and more certain that if I lived closer, this would be my weekly hangout spot. Her use of color, light and child driven creativity is truly inspiring.
Man oh man does this studio look amazing!!! Julie Kirkpatrick is the woman behind this incredible thriving studio. Her motto is “Art classes reflecting a commitment to community, natural materials, and open ended activities that inspire genuine creativity.” I mean, that pretty much sums it up in my mind that Julie knows what’s up when it comes to teaching art to kids. I can’t wait to visit this space on my next trip to NY!
Shannon is all about creating and expressing joy in her art studio. Her projects look sophisticated and edgy, yet totally developmentally appropriate for kids. This is a new studio that I know is off to great things ahead. Hope I get the chance to visit someday.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Heather over the past year. She is the graphic designer behind my EBOOK! She is also a fantastic art teacher of small art classes out of her home in Charlotte. Her background in visual arts is evident in all of her creative projects that meet each student where they are. Heather truly honors the creative process and her passion for art with young children really shines through.
I have been stalking Jennifer and her amazing studio for a loooong time. I probably watched this video about a million times dreaming of my own studio someday. We got to meet last summer and she gave me so many fantastic tips for opening my own art studio for kids. Their light filled studio never fails to inspire me. Small Hands Big Art offer tons of great classes and summer camps that kids adore. The projects are amazing and it is clear the kids are having a blast. Definitely one to check out.
Just take a look at this incredible gallery of art in action at Wee Warhols and you will immediately want to sign up for a session. Amber puts together both small and large scale art experiences for children of all ages that have me inspired daily. If you are lucky enough to live in Austin, check out her space!
Little Loft Studio DC, one of three art studios under the same title, is bursting with creativity and fun for kids. Little Loft is a “Neighborhood Art Space” that cares about community and spreading art into the hearts of all the little artists they serve. One glimpse at their amazing instagram feed and you will be heading to DC stat. I really want to see the studio in action! On my list of must visits.
Woah, that was a lot of art studio info. I am going to be adding to this list as I learn more about the best art studios for kids across the U.S. Next list will be about the best art studios for kids outside the U.S. (like Collage Collage! Such a good one!) Thanks for reading along and if you have any to add please do in the comments below.