Millburn-Short Hills' adults, children and all creative minds are welcome this summer at Geralyn’s Art Studio at 103 Baker Street in Maplewood.
The studio is offering Art Summer Camp for kids from ages four to 15, Monday through Friday until Aug. 31, and adult classes every Wednesday, which run all year round. You can register for just one class or a whole season.
Owner Geralyn Robinson said every class offers something different each day, depending on the age group. Some days they will work primarily with acrylic paints or water colors. Other days they will work with clay, buttons, ribbons, pastels, fabric or even recycled objects.
Robinson said she and her staff try to foster creativity without competition in the classroom. She said they try to make their environment as safe as possible for adults and children to express themselves freely. “We don’t want them to feel like there’s something wrong if the paint falls on the ground,” she said. “We tell them there’s no mistakes. Sometimes at home you can’t do that, but at an arts studio you should be able to do that.”
“The [Summer Camp] is all about the children,” Robinson said. “The child has to be comfortable. We let the children think they’re in charge, and they don’t really know most of the time that we’re teaching them. We let them pick what they want to do and we help them along. We try not to do class projects because I find it leads to competition. I don’t want that. I don’t what them to think that anyone is better than anyone else. It’s a fun environment.”
In the past Robinson has taught the children about a city in a foreign country and had the children draw what they imagine it looks like. Last Monday, they had children design and build masks in the style of traditional African tribes. This coming Wednesday, Robinson said, the camp will do art with sand.
Robinson said mornings are typically when they have the younger children work with their hands and getting messy if need be. Afternoons are when things settle down and they focus more on typical fine arts.
Children’s classes are $35 per session. Adult classes are $20 per session. If you book five or more sessions in advance, you get a 10 percent discount.
An Irish immigrant, Robinson and her husband came to Maplewood 17 years ago. She previously worked in IT and as a graphic designer before buying the art studio when its former owner retired.
She’s been in business 10 years and at the Baker Street location for one year.