Our Art First instructors are truly A-MA-ZING!!!!!
Love teaching art
Love teaching kids!!!!
Our instructors are
Share expertise and passions
Ask each other for help
Challenge our young artists
And so much more!
They start with an idea…a glimpse of a theme featuring art activities and lots of fun! They develop age appropriate lesson plans that help our students develop and grow, learn new skills, experiment with new mediums, have new experiences and have FUN!
Our instructors research the newest techniques, follow contemporary artists, experiment with new mediums, learn from each other and other artists, take classes and bring those experiences and expertise to our students.
They take the children where they are. Can’t cut with scissors? What to do? Roll play dough snakes and cut, cut, cut…with scissors! Perfect! “I can’t draw.”Oh, yes you can – because you can draw a line and lines make squiggles, zig zags, go up hills and down hills, make curves…make pictures. They’re all lines!
Part of the fun is process art: Experimentation, Exploring, Learning. The young artists gain skills that can be used to create amazing masterpieces as our instructors guide them, teach new methods and encourage them.
On any day at Art First our instructors engage our young artists in:
Experimenting with finger paints, foam paints, BioColor paints
Exploding elephant’s toothpaste, watching colors dance
Sculpting miniature worlds, rolling monsters, ice castles
Competing in the Art First Olympic Games
Listening to treasured books
Playing with snow dough
Constructing fairy doors
Making paper and Kokeshi dolls
Freeing a Lego Man from an ice berg
Constructing tree houses, chairs and shelves
Playing a game of crochet using pink flamingoes
Painting with wool, making colorful ice cream cone collages
Creating princess cone hats, knights’ helmets, hobby horses to ride
Stitching pajamas, walking the red carpet, building faerie houses that astound
Our instructors make art fun! They believe in their students. “Trust yourself, we do.” They are the heart and soul of Art First. They bring art alive!
They help children
Solve problems in different ways
Stretch their wings and “FLY”
They delight in the wonder in our young artists’ eyes. They delight in our young artists’ accomplishments and the pride swelling inside of each child. They are Art First. They are a team. They are A-MA-ZING!!!
We love faerie houses!!!!!! Why?????
The pure fantasy
The students’ visions
Every year we see the creativity of our students emerge by leaps and bounds. From one central theme a unique creation appears before our eyes. It is a house created for whimsical faeries but it is more than that. It is a work of art that captures our students’ imaginations…their visions…their art!
It is not watercolors. Nor is it acrylics. But it is the art of creating with a vision…a plan all of their own… and executing it with enthusiasm, determination, and resourcefulness. They make their vision come alive. They plan, design, problem solve, build, sew, work with clay, paint, print and tweak until the masterpiece tells their story.
In past years, our students have told many stories and created fabulous faeries houses for these enchanted creatures. They have ventured to the North Pole and created frosty establishments such as Rudolph’s Rooftop Reindeer Lodge, The Hot Chocolate and Coffee Shop, Pam’s Bakery, The North Pole Café, Elsa’s Enchanted Eatery, the North Pole Bait and Tackle, Bumble Bee Bakery and many more delightful creations. They have gone on art adventures and created studios for artists, musicians, karate masters, dancers, engineers, floral designers and more. They have created a Faeries Village and the shops that gave the village life – inns, coffee houses, salons, boutiques, and bakeries. And they have ventured to a tropical island and created a paradise complete with living spaces and decks meant for lounging and entertaining
And always, always… the faeries are treated to an amazing apartment complete with hand hung wallpaper, lusciously appointed beds with lacy bed skirts, luxurious comforters and pillows galore, soft hand-crocheted rugs, intricate hanging lights, hand upholstered furry chairs that invite relaxing, hand painted artwork and even a studio kitchen for preparing meals. What more could a faerie want?
This year the faeries are headed to New York City with its neon lights, hustle and bustle, and distinctive skyline. It is going to be A-MA-ZING!!! The classroom will be immersed in creativity, hustle and bustle just like the city, and pure excitement as our students transform a wooden structure into a work of art.
Ground floor boutiques, stores, shops, studios
Second floor studio apartment
Roof top garden
Hand painted skyline of NYC skyscrapers
This week will be the culmination of some student’s visions. They have planned all year just for this faerie house – finding the right accessories or the perfect furry material for a chair. They will incorporate their treasures into their plan. Others tour the myriad of available materials, hatch a plan and start designing. It is a week alive with creativity, ideas, and fun! Students are engaged, instructors are in constant motion, materials are replenished, new ones mysteriously appear, and faerie houses are being born. It is magic!
Oh, yes! We LOVE faerie houses!
Summer is coming. School’s out! No homework! No early morning wake-ups! Kids are bored! Work is still there! What’s a parent to do???? Find a summer camp that offers safety, creativity, gentle challenges, play, fun…all wrapped up in one package! But how???
Search the internet
Go to camp fairs
Research, Research, Research!
Art First can offer an additional way. Read what our parents say – parents whose children attended Art First for the first time last summer. We are proud to share our reviews. We are proud to share our summers with young artists. Art First is about KIDS. We let them grow. We let them explore. We let them paint. We let them be messy. We let them be themselves…and we delight in that!
Parent Reviews for Summer 2016:
- “She had such an amazing time this past summer. The teachers were fantastic, really engaging. I have to say that I was most impressed with Diane; she has such warmth, and a caring attitude, and created such a welcoming and loving place for kids to come to during the summer.” (age 4-5)
- “My 3 sons, ages 8 and 5 year old twins, attended the Minecraft summer camp and they absolutely loved it! One of the twins can be shy/anxious in new places and new people. He walked right in and did not look back. Their teacher was so welcoming each day as was anyone else we encountered while in the building. They love all the cool projects they came home with and still have them all proudly displayed on a special shelf in their room.” (ages 5 & 8)
- “My daughters had a great time at art camp – they almost came back for another session. They look forward to next year when they can stay the full day. I was impressed with the projects – especially the holiday-centered art, which we have put away with the Christmas decorations to bring out this December.” (ages 4-5 & 6-7)
- “My daughter had a fantastic time! The projects were great—she loved sweet dreams café!” (age 6-7)
- “We love art first! Your program was fantastic!” (age 6-7)
- “It was the perfect class for my daughter, she loved it, it kept her occupied in a safe place and I could do my work.” (age 6-7)
- “My child had a wonderful time at his Art Camp this summer and just after the first day was asking if he could do it again next year.” (age 6-7)
- “This was the first summer N. attended Art First and she absolutely loved it. Everyone was so nice and friendly. It made me feel good leaving her in such a warm environment. I was extremely impressed with the artwork she brought home. It was amazing! She can’t wait to return next year! I have recommended Art First to my friends and co-workers.” (age 6-7)
- “P. had a great experience. I loved the small room atmosphere. Seemed very encouraging and supportive. I loved that they seemed to work on multiple different projects at the same time using different media. Will definitely get her involved again.” (age 8-10)
- “The best materials ever seen.” (age 11-14)
- “My son had an incredible time at your camp and talked about it for weeks afterward. He is so interested in art and we are so impressed with the projects he came home with.” (age 11-14)
Please read the posts on our website and learn more about Art First Inc.
See the quality of our teachers.
Watch the videos (“Drawing Giggles” is a favorite)
Visit the Art First Facebook page
Get lost in the pictures of past projects and fun
Email me with questions (diane AT artfirstinc DOT com)
Summer will soon be here. We can’t wait to experience it through our young artists’ eyes!
Update (April 14, 2017): Read the reviews of Art First Inc summer camp from parents of returning campers
Imagine painting fish…not regular ones that swim in the lakes or oceans…but wacky, colorful, vibrant fish with lots of personality!
It all starts with a slender wooden substrate transformed with gesso, acrylic paints, glazing medium, acrylic inks, stencils and mark making tools of all shapes and sizes. Add circles, dots, zig zags, acrylic sprays, stamps and more to add texture over texture and brilliant colors. Just play…experiment…and have fun!
Still Imagining???? Sketch in the wackiest fish ever and bring them to life with enormous eyes, long eyelashes, bright lips, doodles, squiggles, patterns and mischievous gleams in their eyes. Don’t forget fish need a watery place to live but who says the water has to be blue? Imagine that…yellow water…lime…even pink! Sign the masterpiece and stand back and admire. Bet no one can keep from smiling!
Read the class description and join us on June 12 for Wacky Fish!
Aren’t these amazing? Join artist, Jen Wojnar, in Amazing Acrylics (Week 4, July 5-8, 2016 ages 8-10 and 11-14) and explore new ways to create with acrylics. Paint with brilliant colors. Learn to mix colors to create depth and contrast. Experiment with mark making tools – brayers, scrapers, stencils, patterned rollers, found objects, fingers and more – to create vibrant layers. So creative! The results are stunning! Don’t miss all the fun!
These pictures say it all! No explanations needed! Join the amazing class “You Won’t Believe Your Eyes*, ages 8-10 and 11-14, Week 4, July 5-8, 2016, and create stunning artworks from inks. Scroll through the featured pictures and enjoy the vibrant colors and breathtaking beauty of the works of artist, Tracey Simmonds, instructor, as well as the artwork created by her students last year. Their artwork is stunning, creative, and absolutely amazing! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore and create with this medium. You won’t believe your eyes!
*Coming soon! Part 2 of “You Won’t Believe Your Eyes”… Amazing Acrylics!
Want to be a spy? This summer’s the time! Join “The Spy Caper” camp for a secret spy mission. (Week 1, June 13-17, 2016 ages 4-5 and 6-7) Have fun creating a covert spy name, develop secret codes, and keep a spy notebook. Send secret messages and design colorful art with invisible ink. Become a master of disguise and wiggle, jump, and slide through a “laser” maze. How agile are you at slithering? Peek around corners without being seen – that’s what spies do – and solve an Art First mystery. Take home a “Spy School Training Certificate” and loads of spy equipment and art. Sh-h-h! It’s top secret!
Glue guns are fabulous but we have a problem with them flipping on their side – especially the smaller low melt ones. It happens all the time – use it…set it down…it falls over. Not good! Thanks to a tutorial by Shanty 2 Chic, we have fixed that issue. Sunday afternoon we built twelve of these glue gun holders. Problem solved! Our older students are going to love these!
Need a paintbrush to create art? Not for a second! Join us for “Everything Under the Sun”, (Week 1, June 13-17 Ages 4-5, & 6-7). Imagine painting masterpieces with cars, trucks, and feathers. Learn the bubble wrap stomp and paint outside with frozen paint popsicles. Swing a pendulum and watch an abstract painting magically appear. Splatter paint with toothbrushes and create amazing designs with a broom! Paint with hands, fireman’s helmets, forks, bubbles and even monster feet! It’s going to be an exciting paint filled week! We can’t wait! There are spots still open for this class,
We’re getting ready to needle felt! We have new felting needles with cushioned grips. So comfortable to use! We also have new high density foam felting pads. We used them last week-end and it was amazing how much difference they made! We’re going to to be using them again in July for our “Ice Castles and Frozen Landscapes” camp (July 11-15, ages 8-14). Come join us as we felt amazing, frozen landscapes out of luscious wool roving and batting. The two pictures in the background (image above) are examples of needle felted art. “Painting” with wool is so much fun!
We’ll also be creating ice castles during that frosty week. Come sculpt a masterpiece in clay with turrets, towers and frosty colors. Embellish it with snow, icicles, shimmer and much more! They are stunning!