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NJ Art Programs for Budding Artists

Many schools have cut back on art programs, so if you’ve got a kid who wants to know if she’s the next Matisse, sign her up for one of these classes.


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ART LAB INC.

500 North Ave., Westfield
908-654-5663, artlabforkids.com

Kids 3 and up can take classes on everything from drawing and painting to more advanced 3-D work like clay, wire and plaster sculpting. Teens can get a leg up on building their college portfolios with the drawing courses.

THE ART SCHOOL AT OLD CHURCH

561 Piermont Rd., Demarest
201-767-7160, tasoc.org

Since 1974, this art school has been teaching kids and adults. Students can learn drawing and painting essentials, but also tackle basket weaving or a potter’s wheel. Focused classes designed for your 4- to 15-year-old tackle subjects like nature, comic book heroes and dinosaurs.

BASS ART STUDIO

202 Park St., Montclair
973-509-7588, bassartsstudio.com

Your budding fashionista will be thrilled to take her designs from sketchpad to reality. Advanced students can make their own patterns and learn to drape. Kids can also dive into painting or drawing using a live model.

THE CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

2020 Burnt Mills Rd., Bedminster
908-234-2345, ccabedminster.org

Not sure what kind of art she’s into? Draw, Paint, Throw! will give her a chance to sample everything from painting with acrylics, oils and watercolors to drawing with charcoal and pastels, plus pottery throwing. Once she’s picked a medium, she can sign up for more in-depth classes. Doodlers ages 9 to 12 will love the cartooning class, where they can create the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

CREATIVE HANDS ART STUDIO & ATELIER

14 Kings Rd., Madison
908-604-0773, creativehandsartstudio.com

As soon as he’s 3 1/2, he can sign up for Mommy & Me classes where he’ll spend nine weeks learning about shapes and honing his fine motor skills. Once he’s a bit older, he can focus on drawing, painting, cartooning or creating 3-D pieces from clay.

EXPRESS YOURSELF STUDIOS

1877 Springfield Ave., Maplewood
973-763-5256, expressyourselfstudiosllc.com

If your kids aren’t ready to commit to a full semester of art classes, they can try a Crafty Kid Workshop where they’ll spend hours getting their hands messy with paint, clay and more.

JERSEY CITY ART SCHOOL

29 McWilliams Pl., Jersey City
732-877-9116, jcartschool.com

Kids can start at age 5 in Mini Masterpieces classes, which teach about artists and technique while giving students the multimedia skills to help create their own artistic works. Older kids and teens can focus on animal anatomy to learn about muscles and bone structure, or try penning their own graphic novel.

ONE RIVER SCHOOL OF ART + DESIGN

Locations in Allendale, Englewood and Millburn
oneriverschool.com

Inspire his creative mind with a Kids Art Focus class that’ll let him create sculptures out of clay, wire and plaster, or allow him to try his hand at printmaking. If he’s a bit techy, the Digital Art Shuffle will allow him to develop digital drawings and paintings, plus learn Photoshop basics.

THE RIDGEWOOD ART INSTITUTE

12 E. Glen Ave., Ridgewood
201-652-9615, ridgewoodartinstitute.org

Young artists can dabble with watercolor and oil, or try their hand at landscapes and still life. She’ll delight in drawing portraits, pets and figures on canvas. Thanks to classes designed specifically for her age group, she’ll be brimming with confidence in no time.

URBAN ARTS AT MONROE

720 Monroe St., Hoboken
201-222-5400, urbanartsnj.com

With so many classes to choose from, your kiddos will have every chance to master their craft. In art exploration, 4- to 7-year-olds can sample various art mediums or get involved with mixed media and comic book illustration courses. Teens can get their hands dirty in an intensive course designed to improve their technical skills and develop a portfolio.

VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF NJ

68 Elm St., Summit
908-273-9121, artcenternj.org

Does she have a favorite art medium? Whether she’s in pre-K or high school, she can learn about ceramics and sculptures while bringing her imagination to life. Teens can try digital media classes like Photoshop and photography to expand their portfolio, or find a mentor to hone their creativity and boost their skills.

WATCHUNG ARTS CENTER

18 Stirling Rd., Watchung
908-753-0190, watchungarts.org

If your budding artist is interested in trying India ink, chalk pastels and charcoal, the Drawing Enrichment Workshop is the perfect beginner’s course. For your older kids, the Teen Art Program will challenge them to improve their skills with pastels, wet and dry media and acrylics. The Unique Vision Workshop is a great idea for kids who want to become familiar with photography, too.

WESTERHOFF SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND ART

5 Calvin Pl., Metuchen
732-548-8680, westerhoffschoolofmusicandart.com

For those interested in learning about drawing, painting and 3-D media, these classes and private lessons aim to encourage and develop individual style. The end-of-semester art show is a great incentive for young artists to show off their newfangled skills.

THE YARD SCHOOL OF ART AT MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM

3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair
973-746-5555, montclairartmuseum.org

Encourage their creative side with ceramics. Get involved in a Parent and Child class, or let them learn pottery techniques on their own. There’s a plethora to try here: Printmaking, fused glass jewelry making, oils, watercolors and mixed media are just a few of your young artist’s options.

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