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Raising Arizona Kids

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

August art classes

Families enjoying recent PhxArtKids activities at the Phoenix Art Museum. Photo by Lynn Trimble.

Looking for boredom busters to help your kids through those final few weeks before the new school year begins? Consider art classes to get their creative juices flowing. You’ll find all sorts of options — from painting to pottery — at local museums, art studios, libraries, community centers and more. Here’s a sampling to get you started…

Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa presents several art classes for 2- to 5-year olds (with accompanying adult). “It’s a Wrap Messy Creations” (Aug. 2) features wax paper stained glass, bubble wrap mono prints and custom gift wrap. “Finger Painting Extravaganza Messy Creations” (Aug. 2) features finger painting with tools for creating splatters, noodle magic and ribbons. “It’s a Jumble Messy Creations” (Aug. 16) features sculpture-making with non-traditional building materials.

Art Intersection in Gilbert presents two “Nature Printing” classes (Aug. 1), one for children ages 6 and up with an adult and another for ages 9 to 14. Participants will use sunlight and light-sensitive materials to create botanical prints.

ASU Art Museum in Tempe presents a free “First Saturday for Families” each month. Aug. 4 activities for kids ages 4-12 and their families include making hand-felted wall hangings and crafting other items — including flowers, bookmarks and finger puppets — out of felt. Also, artist Aimee Leon will be leading the first of many children’s rug sessions, inviting youth to create original designs for a community-felted play rug.

Boy with hat made at the Phoenix Art Museum. Photo by Lynn Trimble.

Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers “Art Studio Projects” from 10am to 3pm each day the museum is open. August’s theme is “Cultures and Diversity” — and there’s a different studio project each week. Children can make Olympic flags (Aug. 1-5), design Olympic medals (Aug. 7-12), create jungle collages inspired by French artist Henri Rousseau and multicultural finger puppets (Aug. 14-19), create miniature Persian paintings (Aug. 21-26) and decorate their own paper handprint (Aug. 28-31). Art Studio activities are free with museum admission.

Phoenix Art Museum presents “Kid’s Paper Play” (Aug. 18) as part of the “PhxArtKids Days” series for children ages 5 to 12 and their adult companions. It’s a chance to discover different ways of painting and manipulating paper, explore the museum’s “Paper!” exhibit and play with different paper-related techniques. PhxArtKids activities are free with museum admission.

Practical Art in Phoenix offers classes for children ages 7 and up every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. August classes feature a “CenPho” (short for central Phoenix) theme designed to help youth explore, appreciate and create art inspired by art works and art spaces along the Central corridor.

Shemer Art Center and Museum in Phoenix offers two August art classes for youth. In one, students ages 7 to 12 will learn how to build and paint on pottery (July 31-Aug. 3). In the other, students ages 9 to 13 will learn to fabricate metal and make their own silver ring (Aug. 25). Shemer presents an exhibition of instructor and student work Aug. 16-Sept. 20.

Tempe Center for the Arts presents four free workshops led by artists participating in the “Family Matters” exhibit, which runs through Aug. 25. Choices include “Family Role Reversal” (Aug. 4), “Family Tree” (Aug. 11), “Miniature Chairs” (Aug. 18) and “What’s Your Story?” (Aug. 25).

Remember, too, that several local businesses, including As You Wish Pottery and Make Meaning, offer arts experiences for youth and families.

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Lynn Trimble

Lynn Trimble writes for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS and blogs daily about arts and culture at


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