The Art School and Art Class Landscape in New York City
New York City, especially the Upper West Side (#uws), is full of amazing opportunities for kids to take art classes, drawing classes, painting classes and spark their creativity. There are abundant painting places on the UWS with children and teen classes for art school portfolio preparation, comic book drawing (including manga), and fear-free drawing.
Kids Art Classes and Art Camps
Kids summer camps and winter break sessions provide a place to do “fun stuff” during the long days with no school. Your budding little Picassos and Rembrandts have so many options. Seeing kids at art is heartwarming – like a little kidville full of blooming new artists. The best part about taking your kids to painting classes at an art studio is that there is wet paint in our studio and not in your apartment! In short, there is a school of visual arts for kids and teens of every age with talented art teachers teaching drawing, painting, mixed-media, and more.
What to Consider When Looking at Kids Art Classes
The Art Studio NY
Started in 2004 by Rebecca Schweiger, internationally recognized artist, teacher, and author, this popular art studio has grown to a staff of over twenty engaging, supportive teachers and art lovers who specialize in art classes to “discover your inner artist.” The Art Studio NY emphasizes building essential artistic skills in a nurturing environment. Kids create personalized artwork with the individualized guidance of skilled art instructors, while learning how to express themselves through professional art materials. Thoughtful, supportive, and experienced teachers (several of the instructors here have been teaching art to kids for over 10 years) lead kids art classes. The Art Studio NY class offerings appear similar to these NYC art studios listed below; however, the teaching style embodies a special combination of artistic technique coupled with the freedom of expression. Additionally, the one-on-one, personalized attention and focus on compassion and care for each student allows everyone to feel relaxed, at home, and creatively encouraged.
Note: We’re a little bit biased, because many people have told us over the past 15 years how wonderful our programs are compared to others in New York City. One parent recently shared, “I can’t believe the quality of the artwork my son has brought home! We hung it in our home, and guests have commented that they thought it was purchased at a fancy art gallery for thousands of dollars!”
We listed several of the NYC art school options here for you, so you can have a little bit more information and see the reviews for yourself.
92nd Street Y
The 92nd Street YMCA (92Y for short) offers a wide range of programs for all kinds of activities. They have kids and teen art programming with a standard range of classes. Some of them (as of 2019) are similar to The Art Studio NY’s classes: A Course of a Different Color, Art Around the World, Art Smarts, Cartooning, Drawing and Painting, and Portfolio Prep.
Kidville has a franchise location on the Upper West Side of NYC’s Manhattan (also sometimes mis-typed as Kidsville) and brings a range of kid activities to a cozy space for young children. Kidville is like a mini-mall for kids; there are activities for gym, art, dance, music, and a hair cutting salon. Sometimes, The Art Studio NY partners with Kidville for art parties and classes. Let us know if you want us to combine our specialties for your best birthday ever!
The Paint Place
The Paint Place is exactly that – a place to paint on the Upper West Side. It leans toward the general Paint and Sip style adult painting class where all students follow directions and create the same exact painting, and they also offer kids painting in a similarl class style . They have a second location in Astoria, Queens where they host painting parties of all different types: adults painting, kids painting, painting a wood sign, and paint your pet.
Spark NYC (UWS)
A small art studio space run by an interesting artist named Sebastian, Spark New York started in 2016. They have daytime sessions during breaks as well as after school art programs, and they offer meetups in the owner’s backyard garden. Classes combine art, yoga and meditation for children.
Kids at Art
This is an aptly named place: It is literally “Kids at Art” as they offer kid-friendly daytime art class programming with a few adult Paint and Sip classes in the evenings. Classes tend to be focused on a technical approach to fine art.
School of Visual Arts
Known for its College and Graduate level Fine Arts programs, SVA offers a few kids programs here and there. Their kids art programs are run by the SVA instructors. Offerings (in 2019) include Saturday-only classes such as “AEC-1016-B/Foundations in Art (Grades 3rd & 4th) and AEC-1027/ Painting and Drawing (Grades 5th and 6th).”
Little Picasso NYC is a “Children’s Art Studio” on the Upper East Side (UES). Carrying a fun name, this establishment – started as a second career when the owner became a grandmother – says on their website: “Little Picasso NYC is a children’s art studio.” Art classes center aound 2-8 year olds.
Wet Paint Art Studio
Their main program “Art After School” provides “students ages 7 – 14 with an education in the visual arts.” They provide one adult painting class (offered Wednesdays in 2019). This is a small, quaint art studio serving the kids painting and drawing needs of Chelsea and environs.
Kids Art Class and Art Camp Reviews
As you can see, there is a wide range of art class activity in New York City, especially on The Upper West Side and Upper East Side. The UWS and UES offer many options for your budding artist. We think The Art Studio NY is the best all around, but don’t take our word for it, ask our happy customers. Have a look at some of these reviews of our kids art classes and kids art camps on the Upper West Side.
Other programs in NYC
The Art Students League aka The Art League NYC – a range of online art classes can be found here.