Pablo Picasso once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I love this sentiment because children are naturally authentic and fearless as they explore making art.
Interest in art starts early, so I have compiled a list of kids art classes to share. I’m also sharing some of the programs that are offering Summer camps! Reno has organizations doing amazing work to offer visual art instruction. In addition, local artisans have developed programs just for kids. There are options for toddlers, kids, and teens… so read on!
The E.L. Cord Museum School at Nevada Museum of Art offers art classes on a year-round schedule as well as summer Art and Design camps. Instructors teach painting, life drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, design courses, and book arts. Location is 160 W. Liberty in Reno. Check their calendar for classes and schedules!
Sensory Play in Paint for Babies
A painting class for babies has just launched! Bring your little one to the Museum School for finger painting!
Growing Artist Series: Art Adventures
An art program for toddlers is launching at the Nevada Museum of Art! Parents are encouraged to come and make art with their child. They will explore different materials and projects each month. Check their calendar for classes!
Art classes and week-long art camps are offered at “Reno’s First Address” also known as Lake Mansion. In addition, Lake Mansion has after-school art programs with participating schools. The mansion, built in 1877, is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and is furnished with period antiques. Location is 250 Court Street in Reno.
Arts for All Nevada is participating in Artown (Reno’s month-long summer arts festival) and offering events and workshops.
Art Classes For Kids:
Most classes are for ages 5 to 6-14.
Cost is $15 and up.
Art Camps for Kids:
Week-long camps are offered this summer.
Cost is $125 and up.
Tip: Sign your child up for more than one week of art camp!
Artown is a month-long summer arts festival, spanning the month of July. Specifically, it’s a non-profit agency that aims to strengthen Reno’s arts industry, joining together many local organizations to provide activities, classes, programs and camps for kids.
The best way to look at offerings is to look under the Kids tab. There are tons of events! If you scroll to the bottom you will find “Workshops.” Click on a workshop link and you will find basic information, cost and location. Many Artown activities are free!
The Sierra Arts Foundation is a local arts organization with an emphasis on teaching, nurturing and supporting the arts in our community. Their Young Artists Program is a series of classes designed for kids who have a desire to expand their natural artistic talent. The objective of these classes is to provide elementary aged students with an opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals of fine art while being introduced to various art mediums and techniques. Location is 17 S. Virginia St. in Reno.
Monthly 2-hour hands-on art classes.
Each class is $20.
Note: Check the website soon for details, as this program is being updated for Summer 2019!
Sierra Arts Foundation is participating in Artown (Reno’s month-long summer arts festival) to present Discover art performances and interactive art projects on multiple dates with various themes at McKinley Arts and Culture Center.
Sierra Arts, City of Sparks, and 39 North are collaborating to bring the children of Sparks an art performance and interactive art project every Saturday in July. Events are held at the Heritage Museum at 814 Victorian Avenue. Visit the main page of Artown’s website under the Kids tab and look for the Sierra Arts Foundation logo!
Are you a public school teacher? SWS has a Community Outreach Program that will teach art in public schools.
Trained artists from SWS will volunteer their time and materials to teach your class!
Insider’s Tip: If you are a public school teacher, and you are interested in SWS teaching an art lesson for your class (a free service) call the coordinator who will recruit volunteers and order supplies. They book 20-25 classes per year, so, call and get on the list for Fall or 2020! For more information, contact Art Angels Coordinator, Nancy Podewils-Baba at 775-343-8100.
As mentioned, Sierra Watercolor Society is participating in Artown (Reno’s month-long summer arts festival) to teach Watercolor technique to kids. See link above under Artown, “My Picks.”
The Wedge offers private lessons for groups of up to 20 participants. Lessons include wheel throwing or hand building plus bisque firing. Lessons are 2-3 hours and 1 or 2 Instructors, depending on the size of the group. Clay and tools provided. See costs grid via the above link. Location is at their Studio: 2095 Dickerson Road in Reno.
Ages 4 and up.
Cost starts at $90 for 2 hours.
Advanced registration is required. Call 775-770-4770.
Did you know that Nevada Fine Arts, an art store, the largest independent art and framing store in Reno, offers art classes? Instructors teach drawing, oil painting, printmaking, self-promotion, watercolor, portraiture, and more. Most classes are 3 hours and some are on-going. Classrooms are located at 1301 S. Virginia Street in Reno.
Classes are open to Teens.
Costs range from $10 drop-in to $30 and many between $50-100.
You wouldn’t think that a Paint and Sip Studio has any children’s programs, but they do!
What is a Paint and Sip Studio? Simply put, it’s an art studio offering classes where adults can sip wine or beer while painting. However, most Paint and Sip Studios have expanded their offerings to children for summer camps or private parties.
UNR’s KIDS University is now open for registration. KIDS U hosts a wide-range of youth camps during the summer and school breaks throughout the year. Choose from themed, week-long camps designed to incorporate the academic STEAM components: science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Nevada Arts Council has the initiative to Drive your Message Home with an Arts License Plate. Have you seen these license plates around town? You can’t miss them. They are designated by DMV as the “Children in the Arts” license plate.
Cost is $51 (for a standard format) with an annual renewal fee of $20.
If you want to support organizations like Arts for All Nevada, purchase this license plate and $15 of the initial fee and $10 of each renewal will support statewide arts programs!
I hope this post inspires you to sign your little ones up for an art class or camp this summer!
Insights from neuroscience suggest that arts education plays an important role in how children learn. A recent New York Times article Using Arts Education to Help Other Lessons Stick explains how learning art builds resilience, determination, collaboration, and creativity. To approach work in a systematic, disciplined way is a transferable skill to other curricular areas. It makes sense!
Are there kids art classes, camps or activities that are your go-to for the summer in Northern Nevada? Leave us a comment below!
See you out there Northern Nevada Moms!
Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.