Kids Won’t Want to Leave Open Art Studios

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Have you seen Open Art Studios on Main Street in Greenville? Right in the heart of downtown Greenville, this local studio offers classes for kids and grown-ups, as well as birthday parties and special events.

“A boat!”

“A table!”

“Someone painting a table!”

This what the kids at the Open Art Studios were yelling out when I walked down the stairs off of Main Street in downtown Greenville. I had walked right into a lively game of what looked like Pictionary.

It was a flying airplane, by the way.

Miss Ashley, the art teacher, gave the five-minute warning that the game was just about over and the kids would then get a chance to finish their sketches for the First Friday art show the next evening at Open Art Studios.

Miss Ashley is Kind of Famous

Miss Ashley is Ashley Brickner, a local artist who sketches portraits of families, kids, and pets. She also teaches at drink & draw kind of classes and a local senior center, plus does face painting.  She also draws Signature Sonograms for expectant parents, which are just gorgeous.

You may have heard of Ashley. She’s in the process of doing a show that features sonogram pictures she sketched from parents who lost their baby during pregnancy. That was where I first heard of Ashley and didn’t connect the dots until I was looking through one of Ashley’s books at the studio and saw the sonogram sketches.

I put two-and-two together and tried to stay cool, but Ashley is just amazing and so creative – it was awesome to meet her.  I totally wasn’t fangirling. Nope.

Open Art Studios Came Next

Ashley decided she needed a dedicated space for her teaching and other art projects so Open Art Studios was born. She kicked it off with the Drawing Den, an afterschool program. Kids get the chance to play games and learn how to sketch with pencils. This program is for kids ages seven to 17. The kids were really into it when I was there. Ashley said she tries to learn the interests of the children and then play to those strengths.

One drawing was of a house with razer straight lines. Another was of a whimsical ice cream cone. Another – which was my daughter’s favorite – was of the American flag. They were all so unique and indicative of each child’s personality and interests.

Ashley would help kids if they got stuck on something or give them tips on their drawings. She’s obviously a natural instructor and one that loves her job and enjoys working with kids. The atmosphere was relaxed and chill, perfect for extracting all that creative juice for art.

Date Night Drop Off

If getting your kid to a weekly art studio is tough, try Open Art Studios for Date Night Drop Off. Just like it sounds, you can drop off your child and go enjoy a quiet dinner or drink nearby. It’s $20 per child and is geared for ages 6+. There is not a regular schedule of Date Night Drop Offs yet so check the Open Studios Facebook page for updated info and dates.

Birthday Parties

Parents are always on the lookout for a great birthday party location, especially a fun, indoor one during the chillier months or when it’s just too hot outside to do anything enjoyable. Open Art Studios can help.

For up to 10 kids it’s $150 for a two-hour time slot that includes: a sketch of the birthday child and a matte for guests to decorate, your choice of a 30-minute activity taught by an instructor. Currently, the choices offered are Drawing, Painting, making cards for kids in the hospital or senior centers, face painting, or magic. There are additional options to choose from where an extra fee is added, listed on the website.

The instructor at the party also assists in set up, clean up, and serving. Up to five more children can attend the party for $10 more per person.

Parents are responsible to bring their own food, drink and paper products. There are tons of great places downtown to order in. For example, Vic’s Pizza is a couple blocks away.

Fun for Adults, too!

Being right in downtown Greenville lends itself to the perfect location for getting in on all the action of festivals and art crawls and date nights. It’s so easy to do a date night of Drink & Draw at the studio and then head to dinner or a walk along the river. 

There is a lot going on at Open Art Studios and Ashley has tons of great ideas she will be implementing in coming months, so this is a place to watch for sure. Plus, any opportunity to learn something new – and learn it from a pro- is just a cool thing to do at any age.

Open Art Studios
14 S. Main Street, Greenville
[email protected]

Do you think your kids would love Open Art Studios?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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