What parent doesn’t love nurturing a little creativity in their sidekick? A few colored pencils, jars of sparkly paint, plus mounds of doodads, and you’ve got at least an hour of messy inspiration your petit Picasso will love. But oh, the clean up! For those busy days when art is definitely on the menu but a big clean up isn’t, shuttle your mini Monet over to Seattle’s newest art studio, the West Seattle Art Nest. It’s the perfect space for messy maker time, clean-up free!

Girls at table art WSAN photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Studio Time
Since spontaneity and artistry go hand in hand, the West Seattle Art Nest offers budding artists two different ways to drop in on a creative whim. Open Studio is the first, a fully loaded, all-access pass to all the spaces, materials and projects your mini Monet can handle for just $10 per hour. Here they’ll find featured seasonal projects in the main painting area; a bead room and stamping station; a recycled art room stocked with buttons, fabrics, glass baby food jars, toilet paper tubes and the like, all desperately waiting to be transformed into some wildly awesome kid invention; and the splatter room, an unintentional homage to Jackson Pollack, where little artists use anything they can get their hands on (think trucks, Koosh balls, brushes and more) to paint, splatter and generally coat the entire room (floor and ceiling included!) with their favorite colors. It’s wild abandon personified!

filter art wsan photo: Allison Sutcliffe

After School Art is the second drop-in option. This program runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. for creative kiddos ages 5 and up. For $25 parents get to drop off, so they can run errands around town or grab a latte with a friend right down the street. Meanwhile, the Littles work with an instructor to make something beautiful at the studio. Our guess? That they’ll make something special for you.

Tree West Seattle art nest

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Whatever session you opt for, we love the well-stocked, spacious playroom in the back of the studio. It’s a great spot for the minis to take a break and dig into some serious play at the toy kitchen, fire station, train table or in the climbing tube. There’s also a ginormous chalk wall, just in case they’re feeling that artistic itch again. Best part? When inspiration strikes, little artists just head back to the studio and pick up where they left off (or start a new project). It’s a great way to extend time at the studio on a rainy day.

big chalk wall wsan

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Inspired Parties
Splash a little color on your next birthday bash when you hold your event at the West Seattle Art Nest. The light, open studio space makes hosting a large group just as easy as a small one, and it’s one of those breathe-easy spots that busy parents just love. All you do is show up and they take care of the rest. Party packages start at $250 for ten kids (parents aren’t included in the headcount here) and additional friends can be added for $12 each. The package includes two hours of art time, plus an hour chunk to eat cake and open presents afterward. Petit partiers will craft under the skillful leadership of an art facilitator, who will walk them through a project of choice. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the party project. And owner, Karen Crane, can help design just the right craft to fit your party theme. At party’s end, each guest takes home a creativity art pack goodie bag as a thank you for attending (also included in the price). Just one more perk that makes this an easy-on-you, fun-for-them party place.

group beading wsan

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Just for Parents
What’s not to love about an art studio that remembers moms and dads too? After all, parenting is a daily endeavor in creativity, right? Put those daily exercises to good use at a wine painting night with your besties. For $40 each, parents can enjoy a glass of wine and some munchies while they recreate a masterwork on their own canvas alongside other adults, under the skillful tutelage of a local artist. Sign up with your spouse, friend or grandmother, or book a private paint night when you’ve got a group of six lined up. Wine and paint nights are currently scheduled once a month, but more may be added as the year goes on.

Nicole Solvang Photography wine night wsan photo: Nicole Solvang Photography

Parents can also enjoy a night out on the town thanks to the West Seattle Art Nest. Once a month they’ll be hosting a Parent’s Night Out for minis age 5 and up. While you’re out painting the town red, your Littles will be busy painting, beading, gluing and generally making outrageously cool art of their own in between pizza and playtime with newfound friends. Drop off starts at 5:30 p.m. and you can be back to pick them up at 8 p.m. And at just $35 per cutie pie, it’s way worth it. Sign up your sweeties online, then make a reservation of your own… for dinner!

Artsy Camps
After a successful first stab at hosting art camps in the studio, Crane is busy dreaming up a summer line-up to rival the fun everyone had over spring break. And if they’re anything like this last session, campers can expect yoga, science and even a little rock ‘n’ roll to be thrown in alongside colorful projects that will look perfect in your living room. A week-long session, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. is just $250, and campers can register for individual days for only $75.

Stamp station wsan photo: Allison Sutcliffe

West Seattle Art Nest
4138 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
Online: westseattleartnest.com

Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Wed. & Fri., 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Open Studio Wed. & Fri. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

Do you plan to visit West Seattle Art Nest? Tell us about your experience in the Comments below.

— Allison Sutcliffe