Art activities and events are a terrific way to engage your creative right-brain, inspiring creativity, expression and reflection. Activities in the artistic realm can also encourage kids and adults to play more – life is about exploring and enjoying, but we can often get bogged down in the hum-drum of everyday life and forget to play and create. For years, studies have shown that art activities can reduce stress and anxiety as well as depression and illness. Luckily, Irvine’s diverse community offers a range of creative activities for visitors and residents throughout the year, but there are so many it can sometimes be hard to choose. So, we’ve put together a list of the best art activities and classes in Irvine for all ages and personalities to enjoy. So don’t be shy, let’s get creative!
The Artist Lab
The Artist Lab is an art studio in the Woodbridge area that offers diverse art classes for children, youth, teens and adults. They offer classes in Drawing & Painting, Ceramic Sculpture, Sewing Art, Jewelry-Making & Design, Miniature Design, Papercraft and Wire Art & Cardboard Construction. Within each specialty, they introduce and expose students to unique and diverse art materials like tempera, watercolor, gauche, acrylic, oil paint, pastels, graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, markers, clay, fiber arts and textiles, polymer molding clay, jewelry and metal crafts, cardboard, card-stock paper, foam board, wood and more. Teaching such extensive and interesting materials helps unlock students’ creativity and creative problem-solving. Students of all ages – and even families – can take classes together and develop skills and interests in a wide variety of art styles and mediums. This is a fun and inclusive place for experienced or novice artists and can be an enjoyable art experience for families, adults and children.
Blue Sky Academy of Art
770 Roosevelt, Ste. 100, Irvine
Blue Sky Academy of Art is in the Northwood area of Irvine, off of Jeffrey, and has one of the most popular life drawing sessions in all of Orange County. Focusing on helping interested students learn the fundamentals of art and expression as they grow from children into adults, this academy is unique. Many of its courses are designed for certain age groups, specifically honing-in on developments that kids experience at different ages. Welcoming all ages to its variety of offerings, Blue Sky has professional artists and designers teach courses that bring out the creativity inherent in everybody. Blue Sky’s studio is fully stocked with state-of-the-art equipment, drawing benches, easels and an extra-large model stand for live models during the weekly drop-in life drawing workshops. Other courses offered include Exploration and Discovery (ages 5-7), Visual Storytelling (ages 7-9), Foundations and Design (ages 10-12), Realism and Classical Training (ages 12 and up), Portfolio Intensive (designed for those who are preparing for college applications), and Life Drawing Workshops every week (all ages).
Irvine Fine Arts Center
Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) is a city-run gallery and art education center that offers classes every season in a variety of focuses. IFAC has classes for every age range from toddlers to seniors and even offers classes for families and early childhood development. Additionally, they have a great art gallery that has regular fine art exhibitions. With an entire catalog of art classes to choose from, it is known for its variety of workshops, camps, open studio classes and family art classes. Here, students can enroll in exciting classes that span multiple mediums, from digital to print and beyond. In addition to courses in drawing, painting, ceramics and photography, students can also participate in traditional classes, like quilt art, mosaics, lace-making, Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), jewelry fabrication and printmaking. Although its hours and offerings are limited because it is a city-run facility, the IFAC is a very popular destination for art activities and classes. It’s located in the Heritage Community Park and is right next to the Heritage Park Library and the Heritage Park Community Center.
Studio H Fine Art
2691 Richter Ave., Ste. 108, Irvine
Studio H Fine Art is an immersive art school and gallery that focuses on professional quality art training and creative growth year round. The relaxed, open and comfortable environment offered at Studio H Fine Art is the perfect place for art lovers of any age to grow and expand their interests and skills to enhance a true appreciation for art. A wide range of classes and workshops are offered in ceramics, painting and drawing. They have classes tailored for children, teens and adults. Studio H is dedicated to offering classes for every type of artist, making some sessions and workshops available on weekends, with early morning and late evening hours. They also host birthday parties and private events, and they help teens and adults build an artistic portfolio for professional growth. Studio H was founded by a professional artist and perpetuates a professional and respectful atmosphere of creation, helping to train kids and adults to take their artwork seriously with a courageous amount of creativity.
Sip and Colr
Sip and Colr is a traveling “paint and sip” event company that is based in Irvine. It is an all-inclusive company that hosts events in various locations – at company offices, private parties, community centers, bars, restaurants and hotels in and around Irvine. The organization provides materials and refreshments, and hires professional up-and-coming artists to teach the classes and help participants have a blast creating a painting while drinking wine! Sip and Colr creates and builds relationships with local venues and shops to grow the community spirit and help local businesses. Paint and sip events are on the rise and are a ton of fun for non-artists or groups to learn some quick tips and tricks to create a custom and original work of art that looks professional grade – all while drinking wine!
Color Me Mine
2875 El Camino Real, Tustin
Color Me Mine is a large chain of pottery-painting places where you can have an amazing and inspiring creative experience with friends or family making a hand-painted ceramic object, vase, bowl, mug or plate in your own unique style. Although Color Me Mine is technically located in Tustin, it is in the Marketplace off of Jamboree, which is just across the street from Irvine and is a central location for people, surrounded by shops and restaurants. At Color Me Mine, you don’t have to worry about the difficult object-making part of the process of creating something from scratch – you can just focus on the beautification of the object, painting and coloring it to your heart’s desire. This is an entertaining activity for people of all ages and is great for gifts and parties – they even allow you to bring food and wine to enjoy while you paint.