Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published March 15th 2016
Quality Children's Art Classes At Bargain Basement Prices
So much fun
Merri Creek Studio is an art gallery and beautiful shared community space for printmaking and other art mediums. Merri Creek Studio specialises in teaching children, young people and adults a variety of printmaking techniques including mono print, relief print, collagraph print and etching.
The studio is used for multiple purposes including for birthday parties and they are open to ideas for other creative community activities. The name comes from the local Merri Creek - a community meeting place and a haven from the fast pace of the city.
The beautiful old building has a professional feel. The atmosphere is relaxed and you feel like an artist when working there! The programs are designed to develop confidence and nurture creativity. Each class is designed to give children the freedom to be creative, have fun, and learn important skills and feel good about themselves. Alanna explained to my daughter that skills such as decision-making would be used in classes but that they could also be used for the rest of their lives.
There's something about Alanna
But forget the building and the programs for a minute, the real life of the studios is Alanna, who is the co-founder of the studio. When we first met Alanna she greeted us barefooted in a pirate hat. I knew in that instant that this was going to be an experience like no other. This turned out to be a fun way to introduce safety. The wearer of the hat is the only one able to operate the printing press – they are the captain of the ship!
Alanna demonstrating a technique
When explaining printmaking, Alanna said " We don't know what this is going to look like, we have to use our imaginations… that's the experimental part of art and the fun bit'. It's no easy task to cater for a group of children of mixed ages, interests and capabilities but Alanna does it with ease and style. Alanna demonstrated incredible flexibility to cater for each. One child wanted to print on a skateboard which she managed to access and she googled a Taylor Swift stencil for another.
Another screen printing masterpiece
Hard as it is to believe, two years ago Alanna was a backpacker, and now she is a clever young enthusiastic entrepeneur whose love for art and sustainability is transparent. She seems to take joy in the childrens' productions and she is quick to remind kids to be positive about their work. I overheard her telling a child 'You can take pride in this, I've never seen anything like it'.
Ready to get to work!
Alanna started out with nothing but a dream and passion and was only able to purchase a printing press with the support of crowd funding. Alanna is a natural! She instantly made my children feel at ease (even when they were feeling challenged) and they both produced top quality work beyond my expectations. I was so proud of beautiful pieces they produced I approached organisations who have since published their work (on a website and in a magazine). I heard her say 'You kids never cease to amaze me'. This had an immediate effect of motivation.
Designed and printed by a young artist
At each session, children take home beautiful finished artworks such as etchings and relief prints on quality printmaking paper or fabric screen prints. In the last class the children proudly produced their own stencils and printed onto t-shirts.
About the Classes
The Merri Creek Studio host small workshops for children after school and during school holidays, as well as workshops for adults. Beginners, ethusiasts and established artists are most welcome.
The prices of classes vary but they all include materials. Wear old clothes in case of spillage, but otherwise all you need to bring is your enthusiasm.
A group of kids hard at work
Children's art classes
Concession/upfront 8 week semester bookings are $20 per child. Casual Classes are $25 per class. If you have more than two children, they offer a discounted rate for the second child.
After school classes
Please note the arrival time for after school is flexible between 3.30pm and 4pm. An 8 week program is $160 or casual classes $25. Classes are currently held on Thursdays 3.30 - 5pm (12 years and under) and Fridays 3.30 - 5pm (12 years and under).
Koorie flag - since published
School holiday program
The school holiday program runs over five days where students learn a different skill each day. This culminates in a grand art expo at the end on a Sunday. See their website for details of cost and times.
Adult classes also run. See Lesley Mitchell's Weekend Notes article.
Bookings are essential as class sizes are limited. Email Alanna at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone or text Alanna on
0458 286 289
Merri Creek Studio also conducts Yoga sessions every Monday 6pm - 7pm...$10. BYO mats.
Note: Merri Creek Studio is available for hire. Press and studio hire are available for just $40 for 4 hours. Interested persons are welcome to enquire about joining the studio and sharing the facilities.
All in name of the love of printing
Postscript: For more information about Alanna or her art click here.
She has an interesting history of working in paid and voluntary capacities and her work is help in private and public collections.