Programs at Kennett Design allow children to express their creativity
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Maybe none of the children who attend a Studio KiD event at Kennett Design will ever grow up to call themselves a full-time artist, but such lofty aspirations have never served as the business model for the West State Street studio, anyway.
Rather, the goal is to unlock the artist within every child, so anyone who peeks inside the studio in Kennett Square this summer will see the twirling, spiraling, colorful manifestation of young creativity fully at work, and at play.
Kennett Design has begun Studio KiD, with programs that include "Kids Paint" classes every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and a "Purely Paint" summer camp during the week of Aug. 3 to 7.
The "Purely Paint" camp, aimed at children from 8 to 11, will introduce campers to the basics of painting, under the supervision of Mindy Kempista. Using acrylic paints and brushes, children will paint on canvas, T-shirts, wood, rocks, shells and other surfaces. The artistic adventure for each day will be modeled after a famous artist's work, and include a brief biography of the artist.
"On one day, we'll work toward a Claude Monet style, and the next day, we'll create a Jackson Pollock mess," Kempista said. "I'll probably have to drape covering over the entire studio on Pollock day, but it should be a lot of fun."
For Kennett Design owner Marion Hess, the success of the children's programs is measured not by discovering the "early work" of a future Rembrandt, but celebrating the originality of each child. She recalled a recent class when children were adding their own creative touches to an existing illustration of a giraffe.
"All of a sudden, one little girl decided to paint a bow on the giraffe's long neck and put eyelashes on it," Hess said. "She decided to take her painting to the next level, and that's what gave her originality. One of the things we try to do is pick out something that's great about each child's ability. Each child is completing their own masterpiece, and we love to see a child put their own creative spin on their work."
On Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August, children ages 8 and older can attend "Kids Paint" with Lou Clayton of LouLou's Whimsicals. The morning sessions, held from 10:30 a.m. to noon, give children the opportunity to paint their version of a pre-selected painting. Artists can be dropped off at the studio, while their parents can enjoy coffee or shopping in Kennett Square. During the school year, "Kids Paint" sessions are held after school, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Studio KiD is also the perfect spot for children's birthday parties, where for 90 minutes, up to 16 party-goers can enjoy a group painting session, with art supplies and instruction to complete a painting.
"Every child has art in them, and it's just a matter of how they express it," Hess said. "We're providing a vehicle for a child who has an artistic passion and really wants to take off, or a child who doesn't and just wants to have the experience of completing a finished painting. No matter what their aspirations are, we give them that experience."
The "Purely Paint" camp at Kennett Design runs from Aug. 3 to 7 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and is open to children from 8 to 11 years old. The cost is $160. "Kids Paint" sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 10:30 a.m. to noon, through Aug. 20, at a cost of $25. Parents can paint with their child for the same cost. A $5 loyalty credit is given to each participant to encourage attendance at multiple sessions during the summer.
To register online, visit www.kennett-design.com. Kennett Design is at 117 W. State St., Kennett Square.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.