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April 25, 2024

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Local Art Programs for Kids

ROUND-UP! Children of all ages can explore creativity with hands-on art programs in Middle Tennessee.

(Pictured above: Local kids show of their mask-making creations at Firstlight Arts Academy.)

Children of all ages can explore their creative selves through a variety of art programs for kids in Middle Tennessee. We’ve put together this list of our favorite opportunities for kids who want to experience an assortment of hands-on visual art education, including painting, drawing, clay, cartooning, fashion design and beyond … and we’ve even got a few things for Mom & Dad to enjoy, too!


Brushfire Pottery Studio
4004 Hillsboro Pike, #150, Nashville
615-385-5334 •
If your child can hold a paintbrush, he can have fun painting pottery at Brushfire. Studio fee is $6, including paints, design tools, clear glaze, firing and instruction. More than 400 pieces of pottery to choose from ranging in price from $3 – $60. Sunday is FAMILY DAY — the studio fee for parents is free when painting with a child.

1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville
615-356-8000 •
Every Tuesday, September – May, the Tuesdays for Tots program for preschoolers includes hands-on art-making activities in the studio. Cheekwood also offers art activities seasonally as exhibits change throughout the year.

The Clay Lady Campus

A local girl has fun throwing on the wheel at The Clay Lady’s Campus.

The Clay Lady’s Campus
1416 Lebanon Pike, Ste. C, Nashville
615-242-0346 •
POTTERY CLASSES for ages 16 and older available in nine-week sessions four times a year. SUMMER CLAY for kids of all ages takes place June 13 – 17 and July 18 – 22 for $150 per week. In each week-long session, kids will make nine different projects.

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring
502 S.E. Broad St., Murfreesboro
615-890-2300 •
Kids can explore self-guided art projects every day at the center (free with the center’s $8 admission). Every Tuesday at 4 p.m., ages 5 and older can join staff artists and special guest artists in CREATION STATION where they receive instruction in a variety of art forms like drawing, painting, print making, clay and more. FREE DAY IN MAY on Saturday, May 21 gives kids a full day of complimentary art exploration from painting to throwing pottery on the wheel.

Fired Up
1233 N. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet
615-773-4445 •
All ages can paint their own pottery. There’s a $6 sitting fee, and the average price range for pieces kids opt for is $8 – $20.

Firstlight Arts Academy
1710 General George Patton Drive #108, Franklin
615-678-6745 •
Ongoing art classes for ages 4 and older are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced budding artists. Embracing traditional art methods, young artists (and adults) can explore drawing, painting, cartooning, 3D projects and more.

Discovery Center Free Day in May

Kids can throw on the wheel and explore lots of other creative mediums during the Free Day in May at Discovery Center on Saturday, May 21.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway, Nashville
615-244-3340 •
The Frist’s Martin ArtQuest gallery offers kids of all ages a wide array of hands-on creativity at 30 different stations where they can explore elements of art like color, texture and line while using a variety of artistic media and methods. More good news: admission to the Frist Center is always FREE for kids ages 18 and younger!

Gordon Jewish Community Center
801 Percy Warner Blvd., Nashville
615-356-7170 •
Art classes for school-age kids take place after school throughout the year, including cartooning and drawing.

Green Elephant Arts Studio
2517 Nolensville Pike, Nashville
615-679-0654 •
For your tots, GROWN-UP & ME (18 months – 3 years) and LITTLE ONES (3 – 5 years) combines hands-on art making with music. The studio also has several art classes for school-age kids and teens. The upcoming SUMMER ARTISTS SERIES of workshops takes place select Saturdays for ages 4 – 9 and 10 – 15. With each installment, kids will study a particular artist while creating art in the artist’s style. HOMESCHOOL THURSDAYS for ages 10 and older lets kids create paintings, drawings, multimedia collages and 3D artwork. Registration for fall classes begins June 1.

Frist ArtQuest

A local girl explores an artistic endeavor at the Martin ArtQuest Gallery inside the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Hatch Show Print
224 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville
615-577-7710 •
On the first Sunday every month there’s a free MAKE LETTERPRESS ART workshop for ages 5 – 18 at 12, 1 and 2 p.m. Kids get to learn the basics of relief printmaking then use blocks to make posters, cards and other keepsakes.

Hendersonville Arts Council at Monthaven
1017 Antebellum Cir., Hendersonville
615-822-0789 •
The popular ARTS AFTER SCHOOL program runs September – May on Mondays (grades 4 – 6), Wednesdays (grades 7 and higher) and Thursdays (grades 1 – 3; kindergartners are taken into consideration after a trial class). The nine-month program meets once a week for $45 per month (or $385 for all nine months) with an additional $42.50 supply fee. Register early because the program sells out each year. Inquire about art classes for homeschoolers, too.

Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation
McFadden Community Center
211 Bridge Ave., Murfreesboro
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Patterson Park Community Center
521 Mercury Blvd., Murfreesboro
615-867-7244 •
The weekly HOMESCHOOL CREATIVITY CLASS for all ages takes place Wednesdays (September – May) from 2 – 3 p.m. for $3. Kids can study a different artist each week and create a work in that artist’s style. As part of the parks’ Perform Murfreesboro offerings, ages 8 and older can take a BEGINNERS SET DESIGN class where they’ll learn how to create theatrical environments in diorama style. The BUILDERS & MAKERS program for ages 12 and older (including adults) provides an outlet for participants to build and paint theatrical sets used on stage. Perform Murfreesboro programs are free with membership ($25 per year).

Perform Murfreesboro Set Building

A local girl has fun putting her art skills to the test by creating a diorama with Perform Murfreesboro’s Beginners Set Design class.

O’More College of Design
423 S. Margin St., Franklin
615-794-4254 •
O’More’s SUMMER STUDIO has a wide selection of art classes for kids in grades 1 – 12 that include drawing, painting, architecture, photography, clay, printmaking, weaving, fashion design, fashion illustration, interior design, fabric design and more. One-week sessions run June 13 – July 22. Registration is $50; each class is $200.

Painted Clay Studio
550 Sam Ridley Pkwy. W., Ste. 110 Smyrna
615-220-8888 •
All ages can pick a piece of unpainted clay (prices vary), choose their colors and paint their masterpieces. It’ll get fired later and you can pick it up in a few days. There’s a $6 painter fee ($3 on Wednesdays).

Sarratt Youth Art Institute (SYAI)
201 24th Ave. S., Nashville
615-343-0491 •
Part of Vanderbilt University’s Sarratt Art Studios, SYAI hosts one-week classes for kids running May 30 – July 29. Ages 5 – 7 can explore drawing, weaving, paper making, sun prints, clay, painting and more. Programs for ages 8 – 12 include clay, jewelry making, book arts paper making and drawing. For ages 13 – 16 there’s photography, pottery, fused glass, fiber arts/weaving, drawing, painting and more. Classes run Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and cost $260 per week.

ART-Green Elephant Art Studio

Kids explore painting at Green Elephant Arts Studio.

Starry Night Studio
1450 Sam Davis Road, Ste. 145 Smyrna
615-483-4431 •
A creative center that provides art enrichment programs for kids with an emphasis on visual art. The after-school program costs $75 per week ($25 registration fee; $89 art kit fee).

Third Coast Clay at The Factory
230 Franklin Road, Franklin
615-599-2200 •
Ages 2 and older can pick a piece of pottery, choose their colors and get creative! Third Coast does the firing and glazing. Studio fee is $6 and pieces range from $8 – $30.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville
615-383-4848 •
The PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAM for teens includes classes in drawing/painting, graphic design and photography. SUMMER ART SESSIONS beginning in June for ages 5 – 10 include drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, collage, printmaking and textiles. For ages 11 – 13, offerings include the following week-long classes: Comic Illustration (June 6 – 10); Digital Photograph (June 13 – 17); Interactive Sketchbook (June 2 – 24); and Ceramics (June 27 – July 1). Register for summer classes by Monday, May 23.

ART - WCPR Painting 2

Kids embrace the fun of painting with Williamson County Parks and Recreation.

Williamson County Parks & Recreation
Fairview Recreation Complex
2714 Fairview Blvd., Fairview
— and —
Franklin Recreation Complex
1120 Hillsboro Road, Franklin
— and —
Longview Recreation Complex
2909 Commonwealth Drive, Spring Hill
— and —
Nolensville Recreation Complex
7250 Nolensville Road, Nolensville
615-786-0200 •
A wide assortment of art classes/workshops take place throughout the year for ages 3 and older, including drawing, acrylic painting, social artworking, oil painting, Color Wheels (art history, techniques and styles), Manga drawing (Japanese comic characters) and more.

Woodland Gallery
126 Powell Drive, Hendersonville
615-348-0060 •
The BUILD-A-BOWL WORKSHOP parent/child offering is a one-day outing where you’ll create a large fruit bowl using clay cutouts of your child’s hand ($65). The KIDS’ CLASSES take place on Saturdays for ages 6 and older, focusing on various clay-building techniques. Cost is $75 for three sessions.


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