We recently discovered a creative mom/child haven right here in the heart of Montreal! Located on Park Ave in the Plateau, 4Cats Arts Studio is just that, an art studio, but an amazingly youthful, color filled, splatter covered art studio, that offers amazing art programs for children of all ages.
What’s really unique, and what really stood out to us about their programing is that they don’t just teach the kids to paint, but they teach them age-appropriate art history all about famous artists and their different techniques, and then take inspiration from those famous works of art to create their own. For example, if they are studying Andy Warhol, the kids will do silk screening and make ink blot paintings. If the artist of the month is Picasso they will create acrylic on canvas and make ceramics, etc. The curators tell the children captivating and inspiring stories in a fun and humorous manner about the life and work of the artist being introduced, and we feel that that is a really great way to learn and give children a real appreciation and understanding of art.
4Cats was having their first ever Mom’s Night Out, we knew we had to sign up, and check this place out! We were very creative women before children, and we still are, but after having kids we didn’t always have the time to be as creative as we’d like, so we were really excited to have a relaxing evening off to enjoy some painting.
When we arrived at 4Cats we were greeted by Tamsin Horsfall, the lovely owner of 4Cats Plateau, and her equally lovely (and very welcoming) staff. This studio only opened in June of 2011 and seemed to have a steady following, from the looks of all the amazing paintings and crafts they had mounted on the walls.
We placed our coats and purses in a paint splattered room, which we later found out was used for the kids to go wild with paint and express themselves through splatter art while parents watch (and stay clean) from the other side of the plexi glass wall. (They also have family splatter parties from time to time where even you can get into the mess - and best of all you won’t be the one cleaning it up! Lol) Once we placed our belongings down, we were seated on a long white bench next to some other very creative moms. We are all very giggly, I guess we were all excited to have a night off from "mom duty", lol.
The inspiring artist of the night was Georgia O’Keeffe, who was known for revolutionizing the tradition of flower painting in the 1920s by making large-format paintings of enlarged blossoms, presenting them close up as if seen through a magnifying lens. We all discussed her art, and her motivation and inspiration behind her famous paintings (most believe her flower paintings were innuendos for certain female body parts). The curators shared some informative tips on her life and style of painting, and passed around books of her work. They even had a bouquet of flowers we could pick from for inspiration. How fabulous! We were very excited to start our rendition of this amazing artist’s work. We had such a fun filled time choosing colors, learning how to shade, blend colors and all that good stuff. It was a very relaxing, and it didn’t matter how great our paintings were (we often joked that our paintings were inspired by our sons art – i.e. the work of 1 year olds) it was the experience, and getting to know other smart and creative women that made this evening such a great success!
|Our Inspiration - Georgia O'Keeffe|
Check out our final paintings and let us know what you think! While they are no famous works of art, and weren’t half as good as some of the other extremely talented ladies at the event, we take pride in them and really had an amazing time making them. Thanks to the amazing Tamsin and her team at 4Cats for giving us an excuse to have a moms night out, and allowing us to have the opportunity to come in, learn some amazing things, get inspired, and let our creative juices flow!
If you love art, and would like your kids to be a part of it, you should definitely check out 4Cats in the Plateau. If you know Montreal, you know that the Plateau is like the epicenter of creativity in our city, you probably could not walk a block without bumping into some type of artist. So, you know going in that 4Cats is a special place to be, with a talented owner and knowledgeable curators, your kids will definitely be inspired! And who knows, maybe they'll become the next Picasso!
We couldn't be happier to have discovered this jewel in the rough, and in addition to the fabulous Plateau location, 4Cats is also slated to open in the West Island this summer, which we also can’t wait to check out!