Messing with art 4 the fun of it

4 Cats curator Alyssen Foss thinks everyone should try a splatter party at the Duncan art studio at least once in their lifetime. - Andrew Leong/file
4 Cats curator Alyssen Foss thinks everyone should try a splatter party at the Duncan art studio at least once in their lifetime.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Beloved childhood cartoon Ms. Frizzle told us to “get messy and make mistakes.”

4Cats Art Studio is offering families that chance.

Family Fun Nights, held regularly at the downtown Duncan studio, gives parents and kids the opportunity to work together, be creative and get messy.

“I love family workshops, it is great fun to see families working as a team. Parents need to get out there and do some creating like they give their kids the opportunity to do.” Katie McIntosh, owner of 4Cats Duncan said.

Art projects are not just for kids. Family Fun Nights are designed to entertain the little ones and their parents.

“We can teach anybody palm or clay sculptures and then we also have a painted picture. Everyone gets to do something that they might excel in a little bit more. Some people sculpt and some people are painters and the whole family can try them both.” McIntosh said.

She says that Family Fun Nights are intended to build fond family memories. Families can learn to communicate with one another and be creative while they make their clay creations and paintings.

“Definitely collaboration is the foundation and is the best way to learn how to communicate with people so I think collaborating on a project teaches sharing and team building skills,” McIntosh explained. “It is also about understanding how other people make their projects and understanding their goals.”

In addition to Family Fun Nights, 4Cats also offers art classes for children. McIntosh says art classes are a way to build character and stimulate growth in kids, as well as improved cognitive ability

“I know that for us it is about child’s growth and development but I’m very proud of all our students. It’s so nice to see them open up and take risks. We always say in art you have to be courageous and brave because it can be scary to throw your imagination out there.” McIntosh said.

McIntosh has a background in theatre and costume design. After finishing her schooling, she worked for Cirque du Soleil in their costume department in Vancouver. But through 4Cats she has found her passion.

“My background was a perfect fit all the projects that we teach. It was lots of years of school and then just trying to find the right thing for me. I always wanted to go into education but I didn’t want to go back to school for it,” she said.

There are more than 70 4Cat Art Studios in North America but it was started in Victoria in 2005. McIntosh, who lived down the street from the 4Cats headquarters in Vancouver, decided to move to the island and start up her own franchise.

She and her husband, Buddy, have found Duncan to be a very welcoming place.

“Definitely the community has been warm and welcoming for us. We love being part of the Cowichan Valley. So far the response has been really great positive because people are looking for things to do as a family.” McIntosh said.

4Cats also provides drop in studio tours for the community.

For future family events or for more information contact 4Cats at 250-709-2286.

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