With all the talk of defunding the NEA, school budget cuts which eliminate or decrease access to arts classes, and a focus on hard academics over creative ones, many folks in Portland and around the country are concerned about how to cultivate creativity in children. As an artist myself, this concerns me, but, fortunately, living in Portland, one of the most creative and artistic cities in the United States, there are other options if the politicians decide to make some cuts.
Art, music, and other creative ventures exercise parts of the brain that are vital in problem solving and decision making. Art helps feed the imagination and can be a cure for boredom and depression.
So, while I try to show my kiddos some things I’ve learned, I also understand the social aspect that can make creating fun. Luckily, there is Young Art, a drop-in art center, located at both Bridgeport Village in Portland and inside the Washington Square Mall in Tigard.
My wife and I are both of fan of these drop-in centers. We can drop the kids off while we run errands, have lunch or meet up with friends in the mall. Young Art, with branches all over the United States, is stocked with water pastels, colored pencils, tempera and acrylic paints, pastels, watercolors, chalk, clay, and more. If there is a medium for your child to try, it’s here. And it’s quality stuff, too. Using this array of fine materials, the young artists express their own creativity, develop technical and social skills, and most importantly, have a blast!
Parents like it too. I mean, sure, you could set your kid at home in front a brain rotting television, or have them tag along and whine and complain that their feet hurt. But, why not use that time to educate your child, to let them use the expression that you know they have, and increase your enjoyment in the process?
They aren’t just set loose, of course. Painters-in-residence and art instructors work closely with these miniature artists. Whether it’s just a drop-in visit, a scheduled class, a field trip, or even a birthday party, your children will receive the supervision they need to really hone their skills.
Sure, most of us, myself included, don’t want our children to grow up and be artists professionally, but, we also want them to be free to express their creativity and to enjoy and embrace their imaginations. Young Art helps fulfill this role and, whether you use it as a supplemental part of an ongoing artistic education, or as simply a fun and healthy diversion for your child, Young Art is a great option, and just one more reason why I love living in Portland, Oregon.
For more information, please visit http://youngartusa.co/.