There are at least two reasons to sign your kids up for art classes.
First: They’re uber-crafty, can create all day, and you’re eager to encourage their budding talent.
Second: Their creative talents consist of throwing food on walls, and you need a more productive outlet for them’stat.
Either way, you’re in luck’Ottawa has a range of excellent classes to choose from in various parts of the city.
For the serious artist, there’s the Ottawa School of Art, with locations in the Byward Market and Orleans. Saturday morning multimedia classes at the Market location are two hours long, and expose students to all disciplines, including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpture. Open to children ages four and up, courses are organized around a theme and include a tour of the National Gallery.
Then there’s the Monart Art School of Ottawa on St-Laurent Blvd. The Monart philosophy assumes that learning to draw is the foundation for all of the visual arts, and that all children (even those with no obvious aptitude) can be taught this skill. The focus is on giving students a strong base in drawing techniques. The studio is open for tours, so drop by to have a look (check class times first to avoid interrupting a session). Classes are offered in three-month blocks or on a month-to-month basis for kids as young as three.
Looking for private or semi-private lessons for your little Picasso? Laura Daub is your artiste. She offers lessons at her studio in Ottawa’s west end, and comes to your home for children’s art-themed birthday parties. Laura teaches art with the Association for Bright Children (ABC), and writes a blog with loads of great information on how to determine whether or not your child is artistically gifted and how to nurture their passion for art.
Finally, there’s Bob Grant’s Art Classes offered at his fine arts studio on Lyon Street, where classes are available to children from the age of five. These classes focus on drawing, charcoal shading, pastels, oil and watercolour painting. Working at their own pace with individualized instruction, children learn the same techniques as adults through a teaching style adapted for their age. Bonus: a free introductory class is offered.
Whether you’re encouraging an obvious talent or just hoping to uncover one, an art class can be a great idea. Slide a smock over their heads and let the creating begin! Tested by Patti R., Ottawa
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