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     PLEASE NOTE: the studio closes for the summer (July-August)

Picassos Garage Art Therapy Studio

art therapy studio davisville village

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Picasso's Garage, owned by Claire Nicholls, is proud to have inspired creativity for 19 years. What began as a three-week summer camp in 2005 has blossomed into a thriving art school that includes kindergarten and after-school classes five days a week, plus an annual summer art camp (2014-2018). Nicholls has built a loyal following, with some students returning year after year. She finds inspiration in their commitment and challenges herself to broaden her knowledge of art history. She says, "I'm so grateful for a job that doesn't seem like work most of the time" (2014).

Over the years, more than 600 students have embarked on a transformative journey through our art programs, exploring the works of over 300 different artists. Their growth and artistic development have been a source of pride for us. Word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied parents and students have fueled our growth, leading us to expand into a larger venue at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works during the summer camps (2014-2018). Here, children are not just attending a camp, they are immersing themselves in creative projects inspired by various artists and techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. They find inspiration not only in the hands-on artistic expression but also in the tranquil natural surroundings.

In 2017, Picasso's Garage demonstrated its commitment to its students' well-being by expanding its services to include art-based psychotherapy. When the pandemic hit in 2020, we swiftly adapted to the new circumstances. Recognizing that group art lessons were no longer feasible, we shifted our focus exclusively to providing individual art therapy, especially for children and youth facing challenges related to parental separation or divorce, childhood anxiety, and childhood depression. This commitment to our students' mental health is a testament to our dedication and adaptability. As the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) puts it, "Art therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate".

Picasso's Garage Art Studio has been recognized for its excellence. It was ranked #3 for "Kids at Play" in Toronto Life's Top 300 "City's Best" (2014). In 2016, Picasso's Garage Art Camp was named one of the top five "Things for Kids to Do This Summer" by Toronto Life Magazine and a top ten "Best Summer Day Camps in Toronto" by SavvyMom.ca. These accolades are a testament to the positive impact of our creative process on both kids and adults, as Nicholls puts it, "The experience of running these classes has shown me firsthand the positive impact of the creative process for both kids and adults."

BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY:

Expressive | Art is an outward expression of energy, thoughts, and feelings.

Familiar | The process of creating art is familiar with need no special instruction to get started.

Whimsical | Working creatively in a non-judgmental and non-academic way allows for a joyful experience.

Positive | Being creative can be an enjoyable experience that positively shifts moods.

Externalizing | Creating artwork provides a medium to express complex issues that are often hard to articulate while providing a new perspective.

Empowering | Finding success in the creative process improves one's skills and appreciation of mastery, strengthening their self-esteem.

Concrete | Artwork remains as a positive reminder of their creativity and accomplishments.

Mindful | Creating art provides an opportunity to practice focus and mindfulness.