Perhaps you never progressed beyond stick-figure drawings, and a glue gun in your hands might be more deadly weapon than crafting essential. Not to worry. You can fan that creative spark in your kids through a variety of visual art classes around the Puget Sound region. Here are nearly two dozen spots to begin your arts education exploration; remember that many local city- and county-run community centers also offer affordable instruction.
1. Arts Aloft: Kids from ages 4 to 12 can learn to express themselves through engaging, creative art projects using mediums including acrylics, charcoals, clay and water colors. Workshops, parties, and camps are also available.
Cost: $27 per individual class or $180 for a seven-week session
2. Coyote Central: Since 1986, Coyote Central has provided middle-schoolers with the opportunity to take classes with professional artists. From fashion design to photography to painting, youths can find and cultivate their creative outlets. Nearly 40 percent of Coyote Central’s students receive tuition assistance and no child is turned away.
Cost: $235 to $300 for an eight-week session
3. Early Masters: Shelley Thomas, the founder and instructor at Early Masters, blends art history lessons with hands-on painting instruction. Students learn about art icons including Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci, and they leave each workshop with their own work of art to hang up at home.
Cost: $45 & up per individual class
4. Emerald City Fired Arts: With walk-ins always welcome, Emerald City Fired Arts offers the perfect rainy-day activity. Kids have the option of painting a piece of pottery or creating a glass fusion piece. Professionals will help them get started, then they’ll have unlimited time to complete their work of art.
Cost: Projects vary in cost from $5-$55, with the average cost around $18 (project cost includes unlimited time for completion; all materials, instruction, glazing and firing)
5. FayezArt Pottery: Faye’s studio is cozy and funky, located in a house near Salmon Bay School in Ballard. You’ll know you’re there when you see the fence decorated with whimsical masks. Afterschool classes provide instruction in creating bowls, cups, vases, games and fairy houses, using a pottery wheel and more. All ages are welcome, and Faye offers summer camps as well.
Cost: $220 for a 10-week series of 1-hour classes
6. Gage Academy of Art: Gage’s youth program offers courses in drawing, painting, sculpture and alternative mediums. Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of artistic techniques and express themselves through art. Courses are offered for teens year-round, and summer programs are available for children.
Cost: $50 for a 3-hour individual class; $150 for a two-day weekend class that meets for 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday
7. IGIMO Art Station: With locations in Seattle and Redmond, IGIMO offers drawing and painting classes for children of all ages. They provide the supplies, so the only things kiddos need to bring are their enthusiasm and creativity. Summer camps also are available.
Cost: $50 and up for a four-week series of 1- to 2-hour classes; $50 and up for day-long classes
8. NeoArt School: Established in 1982, NeoArt School promotes itself as Seattle’s “oldest locally-owned art school for children.” Afterschool, school-break, summer camps and homeschool classes are available, primarily for ages 6 to 12. Held in the Good Shepherd Center at Meridian Park, there are drawing, clay and “sampler” classes that include different painting and drawing materials, wood sculpture, papier mâché, batik, bookbinding and more.
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Room 121, Seattle. 632-2530; neoartschool.com.
Cost: $80 for a five-session series of 1-hour drawing and sampler classes, $100 for a five-week series of 1-hour clay classes
9. Pratt Fine Arts Center: Regardless of your child’s favorite art form, they’re sure to find it at Pratt. This nonprofit arts education center offers courses in every medium, from jewelry-making to blacksmithing to painting. Pratt also offers free arts classes for children ages 5 to 13 on Sundays during the school year.
Cost: $45 per 3-hour class; $130-$170 for eight-week series of 1½- to 2-hour classes; parent-and-child classes available for $140-160 per 4- to 5-hour class
10. Roaring Mouse: The combination of art and play is key to Roaring Mouse’s mission. In addition to classes, there are set open-studio hours and a playroom well-stocked with toys and art supplies.
Cost: Drop-in classes start at $14
11. Seattle ReCreative: Blending art and environmentalism, Seattle ReCreative sells recycled art supplies for great prices and offers children’s classes and workshops including a drop-in Paint Playground class that’s offered five days a week and drop-in “Crafternoons” on Fridays. Their play area, open during retail store hours, is stocked with toys, books and costumes.
8404 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle. 297-1528; seattlerecreative.org
Cost: Drop-in classes begin at $10, class passes available
12. The Makery: This mobile art lab travels all over South Seattle with its collection of reclaimed and recycled materials. With its monthly family-friendly Make & Take events at SEEDArts Studio in Hillman City (5617 Rainier Ave. S), children of all ages can stop by between 2 and 5 pm on the first Sunday of each month. The Makery also offers workshops, sensory and play classes, and summer camps. For up-to-date information on where The Makery is traveling next, visit their Facebook page.
13. Thrive Art School: Located in the Ravenna and Madison Valley neighborhoods, Thrive does more than teach kids how to draw and paint; their classes also emphasize the importance of confidence and creative problem solving. Thrive offers themed summer camps with jungle, fairy tales, Seattle and other themes.
Cost: $86 and up for a four-class monthly pass; $60 for 3-hour workshops
There’s more: Check out the city of Seattle’s roundup of nonprofit art groups; seattle.gov/teen/lifestyles/arts_visual.htm
14. Arts Umbrella: Multiple accomplished artists offer weekly afterschool classes at this art studio in the Bothell Country Village. Sign-up is through the individual instructors for classes in oil painting and multimedia for students ages 5 to 19 years. Summer camps are also available.
Cost: $20 per 1½-to-2-hour class
15. Schack Art Center: Whether your child wants to build a clay castle, decorate a stuffed monster, or simply take their first drawing or painting class, Schack Art Center has you covered. The teen classes offer even more diverse options, such as jewelry-making, glassblowing, basket-weaving and picture-book art.
Cost: $35 to $160 for individual classes; memberships available for discounted classes
16. Open Arts Studio: Whatever your kids’ artistic passions might be — charcoal drawing, pastels, fashion illustration, anime and manga, pottery, sewing — chances are good that this Tacoma studio has an offering for them. Afterschool and weekend classes for kids age 4 and older; a homeschool program also is available.
Cost: starting at $114 for six 1-hour classes, $139 for six 1½-hour classes
17. AL Studio: Children ages 4 to 16 receive classical art training from both local and international artists. AL Studio offers weekly classes, art camps and birthday parties. Classes include special outings that allow students to paint outdoors and in Seattle art museums. Many of AL Studio’s students have won state and national awards and can compete in talent shows and contests.
Cost: Pre-K 1-hour classes are $90 per month on weekdays, $105 per month on Saturdays; children's 1½-hour classes are $110 per month on weekdays, $130 per month on Saturdays;
junior/teen 2-hour classes are $130 per month
18. Art Maniac Studio: Kids from preschool to age 13 can learn to sew, create collages and mosaics and sculpt with polymer clays. Little-kid classes are available in the morning, and there are afternoon sessions for school-age kids, plus summer camps.
Cost: $40 for a 1-hour preschool class or a 1½-hour class for 5- to 13-year-olds, or four classes for $120
19. IGIMO Art Station: With locations in Seattle and Redmond, IGIMO offers drawing and painting classes for children of all ages. They provide the supplies, so the only things kiddos need to bring are their enthusiasm and creativity. Summer camps also are available.
Cost: $50 and up for a four-week series of 1- to 2-hour classes; $50 and up for day-long classes
20. KidzWorkshop2: A variety of drop-in classes are available Monday to Saturday for kids age 2 to 10, with drop-off classes for kids 4 and older. The classes explore different media including recycled-art materials, acrylics and other drawing and painting supplies. Longer classes fuel creativity with cookie snacks and summer camps are available. Contact to schedule a visit.
827 NE Bellevue Way, Suite 208, Bellevue. 425-945-6616;Visit kidzworkshop2.com for more information on classes and Art Camps.
Cost: $30 for a 1-hour class, $50 for a 1½-hour class
21. Kirkland Arts Center: Housed in the historic Peter Kirk Building, this nonprofit group has been promoting the arts since 1962, including offering a range of art classes for all ages. Parents can bring toddlers age 2 to 4 for 1-hour drop-in classes for which they should “dress to mess.” Kids to teens can take classes in drawing, painting, sketching, sculpting and other clay work.
620 Market St., Kirkland. 425-822-7161; kirklandartscenter.org
Cost: Toddler classes are $10 per class or less with punch cards; Kids’ classes vary, starting at $110 for a six-week, 1½-hour course
22. The Bellevue Studio: Preschoolers through teens receive classical fine arts training at the Bellevue Studio, which has locations in downtown Bellevue and the Crossroads Mall. Kids can take classes in groups or one-on-one with instructors. “Parent N' Me Classes” are available for families who love to create art together. Birthday parties and art camps are also offered.
1075 Bellevue Way NE #B-3, Bellevue. 425-736-3060; 15600 NE 8th St. #O-13, Bellevue. 425-643-2058; bellevuestudio.com
Cost: $115 per month for 1-hour weekly classes for children under 5; $160 per month for 1½-hour weekly class for kids 5 and older
Check out our other ideas for artistic summer fun!