By Andrea Cranfield –
Art supplies, toys and children’s books line the walls of Beehive Studio, a newly opened children’s art studio in Hintonburg.
Beehive Studio opened August 8 and Kate says the reception has been fantastic so far.
When deciding to open the studio she had a lot of support from the people in the community and says she couldn’t have done it without them.
“It’s very nice having a lot of people around you who are willing to jump in and just do stuff to make it happen,” says Kate. “People have been amazing and the business community in this neighbourhood is fantastic. There’s so many small businesses. I think everybody sort of understands what you’re going through and understands what it takes to get something off the ground. People are tremendously supportive – and the parents and the kids in the community are fantastic.”
Kate has been a professional photographer for about six years (her work has been featured in the Kitchissippi Times) and has been teaching photographic arts in schools for about four years. She was a teacher before she went into photography full time.
Kate has always enjoyed working with children, so when the idea of opening a children’s art studio came along, it seemed like a perfect fit. Her background in working with children, combined with teaching the arts, is the place she wants to be.
“I love educational philosophy, I love child development theories, so I like putting all of that stuff into practice and I’ve always been drawn to teaching arts, it’s always been a hobby… it’s where my comfort zone is,” says Kate.
When the studio space on Hinton Avenue became available, Kate decided to go for it.
Part of the motivation for opening Beehive Studio was that Kate found it difficult to find kid’s art classes and courses nearby. She surveyed people in the community and discovered there was a lot of interest, as well as a gap in certain types of artistic programming.
Beehive offers camps, courses, workshops and drop-ins classes for children aged two to youth in grade 8. Kate also plans to offer birthday parties in the near future.
Camps are in progress and full program courses will start in September. There are also open studio times during the day so people can drop by and work on a different project every week.
When Kate was deciding what classes to offer, she thought a lot about creative areas her own children find interesting.
“A lot of it’s modelled on what my kids would have really enjoyed and what my kid’s friends would have really enjoyed and what I liked doing when I was a kid as well,” she says.
Courses are based on the Reggio Emilia approach, an early childhood educational philosophy.
“The basic crux of it is that children need to explore and wonder and touch things and try things out without always needing an adult to tell them ‘copy this, do this, reproduce this thing that I’ve done for you,’” explains Kate.
“There will be prompts and ideas out on the table and children will be invited to come and be creative however they want to, the way that they’re inspired by the things around them,” Kate adds. “It allows them to develop their own creativity and we as adults are not putting our concept of what’s right and what’s wrong and how they should be artistic onto them. [Children] have tremendous scope for creating and creativity, and what we want to see is what they’re trying to show us.”
Ultimately, Kate believes young children just need an inviting space to explore their creativity. She is hoping Beehive Studio can be that for them.
For more information about Beehive Studio, go to beehivestudio.ca.
Look for some of Kate’s students’ photography work in a future issue of Kitchissippi Times.