At Sawyer we have the privilege of working with hundreds of inspiring educators around the country. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person activities, the curricula always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with Private Picassos, an art studio offering art and cultural experiences for children and adults in Brooklyn, NY.

Private Picassos offers drop-in art activities specifically designed to help toddlers explore their creative side and have adventures with art. They also offer in studio art time for children and teens, summer camps, and exciting events like pizza & paint workshops! Check out all of their activities and register for a class today.

I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.

Valeen received her BFA/MS in Art and Design Education, with a minor in Art History and a concentration in printmaking from Pratt Institute. After working at various educational facilities, including museums, early childhood education centers and community centers, she founded Private Picassos in the spring of 2006. Her main goal was to create a process-oriented art program that valued skill building and exploration over the final product.

Valeen crafts the core values and philosophy of Private Picassos, drawing inspiration from her education, experience, and background, especially the influence of her two artist parents. After 10 years of bringing art classes to children and adults throughout the tri-state area, Valeen created a home for Private Picassos at their first bricks and mortar art studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn! Since opening in the fall of 2015, PP art studio has become a mainstay in the community, offering an engaging space for kids and adults to create art and memories side by side. Valeen lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son.

What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?  

Seeing the amazing and unique ways they approach each art material project. The Private Picassos team is always getting new ideas from their students!

Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment and camp so important for children?  

Kids work so hard academically during the school day and they need to stretch the other muscles in their brain after school. Extracurricular enrichment allows kids to try new materials, experiment, get messy, make mistakes and also use some of the skills learned during the day in real world situations.

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