A year or two ago I schlepped Maddie over to Westside Pavilion to the art class at Gymboree. The teacher was really good. M wasn’t so good. So we took a break. I didn’t hear great things about the art at Joslyn Park so I waited. We tried Gymboree again. New teacher and what seemed like budget cuts. “Everybody share this gram of glue!” “2 sequins per child.” It was ridiculous. If I have to be INSIDE THE MALL every single Friday afternoon, my child’s project better be spangly & shiny like the 4th of July night sky. So we stopped that after a month. M kept bringing up how much she loved art, and to quell my panic at the thought of going to the mall EVERY SINGLE WEEK, I signed her up for the class run through Santa Monica RecEnroll at Joslyn Park. Even if it’s no good, at least the kids can play outside afterwards.
Expecting the worst we trucked on over there.
We got lucky! SmART Space took over the art program. The teacher, Juliet Curry, is excellent! Organized, friendly and talented, she ALSO is the proud mother to a 2 year old girl (which doesn’t mean she’s a better teacher but it means she probably understands how I feel when my 2 year old exhibits “certain” behaviors in her class.)
I was really impressed by the structure of the class, the materials & Juliet’s skill at working with children between 2 and 4 years old. Since my kids are 2 and 4, I enrolled them both.
Her class schedule is just structured enough for these age groups:
1. Independent book time (art books in a basket on the floor)
2. Circle time to say hello, stretch, introduce everyone & discuss the project
4. When/if-you’re-done 2nd project
5. Circle time to hand back projects, get a sticker & say goodbye
Examples of class topics & projects:
1. Introduction to Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract art.
The finished paintings:
Maddie’s name was NAAAK or something like that.
3. “Action Painting”::Intro to Abstract Expressionism & Jackson Pollock
4. Halloween Collage
5. Autumn Leaf Rubbing
6. Indian Corn Printmaking & Collage
7. Free Expression (painting by running a Matchbox car through paint!)
After class we eat lunch in the playground.
It was very hot this day.
Normally the playground is pretty full but it was naptime AND I snapped it the second it was empty in case people didn’t want their kids on the internet.
Maddie is so happy with this class. Which is saying a lot since she is a real Mama’s girl who can be pretty moody. Bea? Bea loves using paint, whether she’s supposed to or not.
Next session starts in January. Look for the name “SmART Space” in the name when you are browsing the classes.
Classes are available both in Santa Monica through RecEnroll AND in Culver City. Here is a link to the SmART Space LA site to check out the prices/schedules:
City of Santa Monica Community Programs
1527 4th Street, Room 101, Santa Monica, Ca 90401
Registration Phone: 310-458-2239