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Fine arts classes for kids in New York City

Up-and-coming Picassos can express themselves through everything from painting to stop-motion animation at these fine arts classes.

  • Artscetera

  • Photograph: Randi L. Klein

    Bird River Studio

  • Bronx River Art Center

  • Bronx River Art Center

  • Photograph: Belinda Blum

    Brooklyn Arts for Kids

  • Photograph: Gordon Eriksen

    Brooklyn Arts for Kids

  • Photograph: Julie Fischoff

    Brooklyn Craft Farm

  • Photograph: Julie Fischoff

    Brooklyn Craft Farm

  • Photograph: Julie Fischoff

    Brooklyn Craft Farm

  • Brooklyn Design Lab

  • Brooklyn Design Lab

  • Brooklyn Design Lab

  • Photograph: Hannah Sawhney

    CMA Classes

  • Photograph: Amanda I DiRosa

    CMA Classes

  • Photograph: Amanda I DiRosa

    CMA Classes

  • Photograph: Tanya Ahmed

    Guggenheim Classes

  • Photograph: Carolina Zamora

    Guggenheim Classes

  • Photograph: Cyndie Bellen-Berthzne

    HiArt!

  • Photograph: Courtesy HiArt

    HiArt!

  • Kids at Art

  • Kids at Art

  • Knitty City

  • Loop of the Loom

  • Supermud Pottery Studio

  • Supermud Pottery Studio

  • Photograph: Courtesy Textile Arts Center

    Textile Arts Center

  • Photograph: Courtesy Textile Arts Center

    Textile Arts Center

Artscetera


From Gowanus to the Guggenheim, kids of all ages can work their way through a variety of art mediums when they enroll in one of these fine arts classes offering everything from pottery, knitting and textile classes to sculpture, cartooning and stop-motion animation sessions. Whether they're just messing around or want to create a gallery-worthy masterpiece, our roundup of fine arts classes is bound to fulfill every creative kid.

RECOMMENDED: Kids' classes: NYC's ultimate guide to the best programs

ArtsCetera
Tiny tykes master music and art basics in these parent-child programs. Arfie's Art and Play classes use movement, books and music activities to help kids make collaborative and solo masterpieces. 212 Smith St between Baltic and Butler Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-643-6817, artscetera.com). Fall session begins Sept 16. Ten classes $270--$285. Sibling fee $150. Ages 20 months to 6 years.

Bird River Studios
After searching (in vain) for the right arts programs for their three daughters, Tennessee-based artists Trevis and Sigrid Orr decided to open their own studio, gallery and class space in Billyburg last fall. The workshops cover everything from stop-motion animation and puppetry to printmaking and jewelry arts, all delivered with a healthy dose of Southern charm. 343 Grand St between Havemeyer St and Marcy Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-1791, birdriverstudios.com). Fall session begins Sept 16. Five classes $100–$125, ten classes $200–250. Ages 2 to 12.

Bronx River Art Center
This nonprofit specializes in ceramics, drawing and painting. The center even has a program for advanced students working on building portfolios (application required). 2064 Boston Rd at 179th St (718-589-5819, bronxriverart.org). Burke Plaza, 871 East 179th St between Mohegan and Honeywell Aves. Fall session begins September 30. Ten classes $75. Ages 7 and up.

Brooklyn Craft Farm
Not ready to commit to a series of classes? Sign up your child for these one-off crafting sessions, where participants create projects such as robot trashcans made from recyclables, appliqued tote bags, T-shirts and key chains. Two Moon Art Café, 315 Fourth Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn (646-450-3276, brooklyncraftfarm.com). Class schedules based on demand. Single class $20 and up. Ages 5 and up.

Brooklyn Design Lab
While class titles change throughout the year at this Park Slope venue, your child will always get plenty of personal attention (classes typically have about six to eight students) and a creative outlet. Kids explore the design process with hands-on projects, such as Lego sculptures, clay creations and artworks crafted from tape. At the end of each session they display their work for their families in a final exhibition. 413A Seventh Ave between 13th and 14th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (917-657-7441, brooklyndesignlab.org). Fall session begins Sept 23. Eight classes $192–$350. Ages 1 to 11.

Children's Museum of the Arts
The newly relocated and expanded children's art museum not only offers its signature drop-in art-making programs but also a series of skill-building after-school classes for various age groups (ages 5--6, 7--8, 8--12 and 13--15). Its imaginative and rigorous offerings include basics like painting and sculpture but also a wealth of hands-on filmmaking intensives (Animated Shorts, Live Action Film) for budding cinephiles. 103 Charlton St between Greenwich and Hudson Sts (212-274-0986, cmany.org). Fall session begins Sept 23. Fourteen to fifteen classes $500; a limited number of scholarships are available on a rolling basis. Ages 5 to 15.

Guggenheim Museum
If your child dreams of seeing his artwork on display, send him to the Gugg. In Art After School (ages 8 to 11) youngsters explore the museum's architecture and permanent exhibits. During each class, students draw inspiration from their surroundings to create their own original prints, drawings, paintings, sculpture and photography. Young teens (ages 11 to 14) work with a teaching artist in Your First Art Portfolio to beef up their art skills in the studio, ultimately creating a portfolio of their work that they can use to apply to a specialized arts high school. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave between 88th and 89th Sts (212-423-3637, guggenheim.org). Fall session begins Sept 30. Eight classes $300 (Art After School) or $400 (Your First Art Portfolio). Ages 8 to 14.

HiArt
The always ambitious, always high-energy classes at Hi Art! introduce kids to art in ways that some programs assume they aren’t ready for (such as trips to city galleries and being subjects in indie documentaries). Manga, opera, photography and more are offered in the studio. 227 W 29 St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-209-1552, hiartkids.com). Fall session begins Sept 23. Ten classes $550 and up. Ages 18 months to 16 years.

Kids at Art
Visual arts classes are offered year-round, with kids grouped together by both age and ability level. Younger kids (ages 2 to 4) learn the basics with the help of parents or caregivers, and everyone’s work is displayed in an on-site art gallery. 1412 Second Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts (212-410-9780, kidsatartnyc.com). Fall session begins Sept 9. Fifteen classes $650. Ages 2 and up.

Knitty City
Knitters of all levels gather for this spot's after-school program, where beginners learn the basics and more-advanced kids delve into crocheting and felting. Younger kids work on hour-long projects four afternoons a week, while tweens ages 9 and up attend more intensive twice-weekly sessions. 208 W 79th St between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway (212-787-5896, knittycity.com). Fall session begins in mid-Sept. Single class $35, four classes $100-$140, plus $10 materials fee. Ages 7 and up.

Loop of the Loom
This pattern-free, improv-based hand-weaving program welcomes weavers of all skill levels to create art without fear of messing up. After a quick loom tutorial, even youngsters who have no prior experience can start forming one-of-a-kind tapestries, clothing and accessories. Kids who aren't ready to commit to 18 classes can take a mini session (one to four classes), where they'll zero in on one final product, such as a hat, scarf or shrug. Loop of the Loom, 227 E 87th St between Second and Third Aves (212-722-2686, loopoftheloom.com). Fall session begins Sept 10. Nine classes $375, sibling discounts available. Ages 5 to 14.

Supermud Pottery Studio
Elementary school students can choose their own hand-building and wheel-throwing projects to complete under the supervision of experienced instructors. Younger kids (ages three to five with caregivers) get their hands dirty by pushing, pinching, rolling, squishing and all-out playing with clay. 2744 Broadway between 105th and 106th Sts (212-865-9190, supermudpotterystudio.com). Fall session begins Sept 9. Five classes $200, twelve classes $360. Ages 5 and up.

Let's Gogh Art
These art classes for preschoolers allow tots to explore their creative side with hands-on projects while focusing on a specific theme, like storybook-inspired art or movement and dance. Check out Munchkins & Masterpieces, in which kids are exposed to masterworks by the likes of Picasso and Monet, then use the artists’ style as inspiration for their own artistic creations. The tiniest pupils will draw, play games and dance in Paint, Scribble, Wiggle & Giggle. Various locations in Manhattan (917-704-0102, nyletsgoghart.com). Fall session begins between Sept 9 and Sept 16, depending on location. Eleven to sixteen classes $440–$640. Ages 18 months to 5 years.

Textile Arts Center
This Park Slope craft hub—now with a new location in Manhattan—offers kids an introduction to weaving, screen printing, felting, block printing, pattern reading, sewing and dyeing. Over the course of the semester, students make one-of-a-kind garments, bags and other housewares to take home and show off to their families. • 505 Carroll St between Denton and Whitwell Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-369-0222, textileartscenter.com). • 26 W 8th St between Fifth Ave and MacDougal St (646-225-6554). Fall session begins Sept 9. Nine classes $450. Ages 6 to 11.

 


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