Hours and Admissions:
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) gallery is free and open to the public
Fall Gallery Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
About Youth Education at WAC
Our educational philosophy emphasizes process over product. Your children will learn how to create art using skills that will carry over into future endeavors. Our educators are trained artists who are experts in their field.
After School Classes: We offer 4, 7-week sessions of mixed-media art classes for ages 3-12 from Monday through Friday running from September – June including Art Factory, Art FUNdamentals, and KidsCreate which include insight into notable artists, world cultures and artistic processes.
In addition to our mixed-media classes, we offer two specialty opportunities during our after school sessions: Clay Creations and Building Workshop. These classes focus on specific skill sets and a more limited range of materials that speak specifically to a child’s special interests.
We also have opportunities for children with special needs. Special Arts is a high quality arts program for children with differing or special needs who might need a little more attention in the classroom. Special Arts is taught by trained educators using adaptive techniques and materials best suited to individual needs while emphasizing the artistic process, critical thinking and problem solving. Projects often emphasize self-awareness and self-esteem.
Weekend Workshops: Join us on select Saturdays for exciting, hands-on arts opportunities. Our bi-monthly Saturday ArtLabs focus on creating a complete project with a narrow focus on specific techniques and materials themed to build on students’ interest and growing art abilities. This year’s offerings include: Mad About Matisse, Crazy Colors and Drawing Da Vinci’s Machines.
Mini Sessions are new this year allowing students to participate in multi-week classes on Saturdays that allow a glimpse into our after school offerings and specialty classes. Ideal for students who might be looking to expand their artistic horizons or try a class for the first time, but are unable to attend during the week.
Special Weekend Workshops build capacity for students to explore their creativity through interaction with high quality materials. Whether finding inspiration from pirate treasure chests or exploring ancient cultures, we offer something for everyone. Workshops are held for ages 3-12, and include our popular December Drop & Shop, an hourly program held twice in December where kids create winter-themed projects while parents shop or prepare for the holidays.
Vacation Workshops: Held on select Westport Public School’s vacation days, these skill-building workshops are technique-driven opportunities for students to be creative. Each workshop focuses on a specific artistic skill set in a fun and funky way. This year’s offerings are: Radial Printmaking (Election Day), Mood & Mystery (Staff Development Day), Kinetic Sculpture (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and Surreal Landscape (Staff Development Day).
WAC will also host 2-weeklong workshop series held over Westport Public Schools’ February and April Breaks. Parents can sign children up from ages 6-10 for 3-hour daily workshops during this Staycation Workshop Series. Each day will feature a different mixed-media theme or style, and includes a small snack. Sign up for the whole week and save!
Drop In Classes: Visit the Arts Center on select Saturdays and special holidays from 10am-2pm for Drop In Classes that children and their guardians can take part in together! Each project takes about 45 minutes and is geared toward students ages 5-12. An educator will help to facilitate the lesson while students work independently. This year, our Drop In Classes include: Peace Windows (Rosh Hashanah), Dots ‘n Spots (Yom Kippur), Spooky Stencils (Halloween), and Paint Like Van Gogh (Veteran’s Day).
Gentle Separation: Parents and their toddlers are invited to the Arts Center once a month to experience the arts. Our new gentle separation classes help students to prepare for pre-school while learning to work independently from parents or guardians. Art Exploration for children 2-4 years of age features art projects that introduce basic artistic concepts. Parents can stay in the classroom or explore the gallery based on individual student needs.
Summer Camp: Summer Camp features opportunities for kids aged 5-12 meeting from late June to late August. More details will be available in January 2016. Registration will open in February.
Opportunities for Teens (14+)
Portfolio Development: Practice your technical art skills in a 4-hour workshop that focuses on the type of skills and projects needed to make a well-rounded portfolio for college. Ideal for ages 14 and up, this class meets four times per year and includes instruction in how to talk and write about your artwork in preparation for college.
Teen Advisory Council (TAC): This elite group of teens takes on leadership roles in the community to create opportunities for their peers. Members plan events, perform service projects, and go on arts excursions while learning valuable skills that promote college success. Applications are available online and are accepted on a rolling basis as seats become available.
Celebrate your child’s next birthday at the Westport Arts Center! Our 90-minute parties feature an hour of arts creation followed by time for pizza and cake in our beautiful gallery space! Choose from one of our popular themes or customize a package that features your child’s particular interests.