The San Francisco Children’s Art Center is a non-profit studio art center whose mission is nurture the developmental and artistic growth of children through creative expression and self-guided learning. By encouraging experimentation and discovery in a supportive environment, the Art Center is a place filled with possibilities, where children can collaborate, explore, and grow.
Our focus is on a process-oriented art experience. While providing instruction in the use of art materials and techniques, our teachers guide students through the creative process in an effort to elicit and support each child's individual style of visual expression. Rather than simply following directions to construct prescribed art "products," children in our classes learn to trust their own creative impulses.
Art Studio, Just for Twos, and Side by Side are offered for children ages 22 months to 5 years old. The studio is set up into multiple stations, as children are invited to explore a wide range of materials, such as homemade playdough, a shared painting area; a variety of printmaking techniques, and different kinds of sculpture. Some stations, like painting and playdough, remain constant from week to week in order to gain familiarity with and mastery of materials. Activities like collage, drawing, printmaking and sculpture vary from week to week. For young learners, the combination of familiar and new materials stimulates brain development and encourages the natural propensity for play. Each class ends with a snack and story.
Created especially for children in grades K-5, Big Kid Topic Classes and Summer Big Kid Weekly Workshops promote artistic expertise while helping children develop perceptual, story-telling, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Big Kid classes deepen your child's experience in the arts as well as other subjects. While delving into a tactile material or engaging theme, such as Photography, Puppetry, Clay, Sculpture or Book Arts, we focus on the genuine learning, creative thinking, and self-confidence that grow out of the individual creative process.
We are located in Fort Mason Center, also home to a number of attraction including SFMOMA Artists' Gallery and the Museo ItaloAmericano, as well as a Sunday Farmers’ Market, Off the Grid events on Friday evenings, and Greens Restaurant with their popular Greens-to-Go counter. The view of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, and nearby Marina Green and Crissy Field, make it a wonderful place to visit. Weekday parking is plentiful, and there is a supermarket, post office, library, and cafes nearby.
View our 3-year Strategic Plan, approved in January 2012.