If the cold has got you on the lookout for new indoor activities, ArtJamz should become a place on your “to-do” list. ArtJamz is a fully-stocked art studio where kids can paint real canvases on real artists’ easels using the provided materials. It’s a great activity that really is good for all ages – from toddlers through adults!
ArtJamz has two permanent studios in DC, in DuPont Circle and Brookland, and does pop-up events in other locations throughout the area about once a month. My family attended a recent pop-up event in Crystal City. When we arrived, rows of easels were set-up with blank canvases. Kids were then invited to choose their medium. Most choose paint but we did see some kids using pastels and even one gluing colorful construction paper to her painted canvas.
Brushes in many sizes and shapes are available as well as sponges, which my son chose to paint with. Although there were mostly kids painting during our visit, there were a few grown-ups painting as well as some collaborative family projects in progress. Altogether my kids spent a little under an hour painting, including waiting a bit for the canvas to dry before leaving. ArtJamz employees are available to help with anything that is needed, but painters are mostly left on their own and no formal instruction is given.
Sessions at the two permanent locations are similar but not exactly the same. Our pop-up experience was less expensive than a studio session, included pizza and a drink, and we had two hours of painting time reserved. Studio sessions do not include food and drink are generally 1.5 hours with the option to add on more time for an additional price, although we found that an hour was about just the right amount of time. There are several “freestyle” sessions each week at both the DuPont and Brookland locations which kids are invited to attend. ArtJamz also has evening events, with beer and wine for sale that would make a great date night.
My seven and four year olds loved the experience and I loved that they got to take home some nice artwork with no mess for me to clean-up. Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis but advance reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. The first two times we tried to go, both studios were completely booked. Various package options are available and the studios can also be rented for parties.
Have fun creating!
Photos courtesy of Jamie Davis Smith.