Spring is here, and our classes are in full bloom at Cherry Street Pier! At a time when COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease, and it’s become safer to have small group gatherings, our kids and adult classes at our Cherry Street Pier location have become increasingly popular. With the weather warming up, the open air Pier is the perfect place to be on a Spring Saturday morning!
New class sessions will be starting during the next couple of weeks, and it is now the perfect time to enroll the whole family in our classes. That’s right, the WHOLE family! Portside offers Family Art Night every First Friday of the month for families to collaborate on an art project together, and kick off the weekend in a creative way. We also have three different classes running simultaneously on Saturday mornings ranging in all ages; An Upholstery class for adults from 12pm-5pm, our Children’s Saturday Class for kids ages 7-10 from 11:30am-1:00pm, and our Teen Portfolio Building Workshop for ages 11-17 from 11:30am-1:30pm.
We have had many family members attending different classes at the Pier simultaneously. Some children attend our Children's Saturday Class while their siblings are a few tables over in the Teen Portfolio Building Workshop. As some kids are creating masterpieces in one of our youth classes, their parents or grandparents are upstairs on the mezzanine upholstering chairs in our Beginner’s Upholstery Class. Our classes provide a creative space for families to spend a part of their weekends.
As a few of our adult Upholstery students live in Philadelphia, many of them are coming from out of state to attend the popular class run by Instructor and Master Upholsterer John Price. As one of the only Upholstery classes in the tri-state area, the class has attracted students from a 700 mile radius! Students have come from locations including around New York City, throughout the state of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and even Charlotte, North Carolina! In addition to our Saturday Upholstery Classes, we also hold Tuesday and Thursday classes from 6pm-9pm.
It is a relief to be able to resume programming after a very hard year, and a blessing to facilitate our classes at such a spacious and beautiful location in a safe manner. We hope to continue classes throughout the summer, and to expand our programming. Stay tuned for future opportunities and news about Portside at Cherry Street Pier!
Naturally, we always love to celebrate the artwork of our young students at the Portside, but this month especially, because it’s National Youth Art Month! For the occasion, Portside students were able to experience the thrill of having their artwork displayed in Portside’s Gallery at Cherry Street Pier, and got to visit the opening on First Friday to proudly show off their beautiful creations.
The children’s epoxy, colored mica and acrylic pour paintings are displayed alongside the artwork of Kim Creighton. Kim is the Founding Director of the Portside Arts Center, as well as the March and half of April’s Artist in Residence at Portside’s Cherry Street Pier studio gallery #12. Kim is a multimedia artist specializing in welding, sculpture, mosaic, painting, and collage, and her latest work includes exquisite acrylic and epoxy pour paintings. She wanted to share her technique with the children who attend Portside Creative Classroom, a daily in-person full day program at the Portside in which local elementary school children partake in their virtual schooling. The children were inspired and mesmerized by the process of pour painting, and created epoxy pour paintings on old vinyl records, which were then placed in a spin art machine to create unique effects!
Kim is the first of Portside’s Artists in Residence to create artwork with the children. Artists in Residence are selected artists in the Portside community who have the opportunity to create new work at Portside’s studio space at Cherry Street Pier, and to showcase their artwork to the public during this time. Moving forward, each Artist in Residence will teach Portside students about their artistic practices and techniques, and will facilitate a project with the children inspired by their own body of work made during their residencies.
This new partnership comes at a vital time in the lives of the children and the artists, as all of our lives have shifted dramatically over the past year. Children have struggled with the concept and technical aspects of virtual schooling. We strive to relieve their stress with daily art practice as a way to relax them and ignite their creative minds. Working with and being inspired by professional artists as well as hanging their work for their friends and families to see in a public space is an exhilarating, confidence building and a powerful experience for the children. Children learn problem solving and critical thinking skills when creating or observing art, which can carry over to other parts of their lives including coping with stress.
We look forward to continuing to inspire their young minds each and every day!
You can help to make them proud by visiting their artwork at Studio #12 at Cherry Street Pier.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all eager for this school year to end, and for the sunny days ahead of us! Portside has big plans for the summer, launching a new series of weekly summer camps. This year, we have eight weeks of camp, each with a different theme! We are expanding our programming to explore various art forms including visual arts, performing arts, and the art of music. Families have the option to sign up for just one week of camp, or as many as they'd like to work with their summer schedules.
Campers will work with a wide range of art materials, and will learn that the term “art” goes beyond just visual arts, and includes all types of creative expression. They will have the chance to make their own stop motion animations, create pinhole cameras, learn about the construction of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, develop their own characters and comics, and so much more! This enriching and multidisciplinary experience will leave your child wanting to learn more.
Campers will be able to experience socialization with other children their age, which many children have been missing over this past school year with virtual schooling. They will have the opportunity to socialize and play with friends during structured free time, while being encouraged to maintain a safe distance from one another to ensure safety.
We are lucky to be so close to Penn Treaty Park, where the children will be able to go multiple times a week. During Nature & Mindfulness week, the children will spend their days at the park where they’ll create environmental art and partake in mindfulness activities such as yoga and meditation. We will also bring the children to other outdoor nature areas such as Bartram’s Garden and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. We hope to expand our field trip options beyond outdoor areas, but will be complying with current CDC recommendations and guidelines to keep our campers and staff safe.
During this time, the Portside will continue following safety protocols and procedures to keep your kids & Portside’s team safe. These include Air Purification throughout the facility, smaller group sizes, temperature checks upon arrival, extensive cleaning of the facility, and more.
Check out our weekly themes below:
Week 1: Nature & Mindfulness June 21st - June 25th
Week 2: Murals & Public Art June 28th - July 2nd
Week 3: Anime, Comics & Superheroes July 5th - July 9th
Week 4: Photo & Video Arts July 12th - July 16th
Week 5: The Art of Music July 26th - July 30th
Week 6: Art Around the World August 2nd - August 6th
Week 7: Theater Arts August 9th - August 13th
Week 8: The Basics of Sculpture August 16th - August 20th