Photo via RKAP’s website

When 50 degrees feels like the Bahamas (don’t know if it is actually warm or I just think so because I am used to subzero temperatures) and snow doesn’t seem to be making any appearances in our forecast in the coming days, this could only mean one thing – Summer is (thankfully) closer than we think. With longer days and warmer nights will also come Ridgewood Kids Summer Art Program.

Ridgewood Kids Art Program, which was started by sisters Madeline and Katherine Valentine, is a summer arts program for children that has a special focus on multimedia. “At RKAP we offer a small-group dynamic that is very nurturing,” Madeline explains. “Because we keep our class sizes small, we can offer individual attention, encouragement and, of course, the opportunity for kids to make great art! We love to introduce kids to materials they may have never used before, like plaster, fabric, and a variety of different clays.”

“We have some really fun programming planned!” exclaims Madeline. “We have a lovely backyard for observational drawing, painting and sculpting and we will have visiting artists come in an teach their specific skills. For example, there is a wonderful artist from the neighborhood that does  paper cutting art who will be doing a lesson.”

I’m am very pleased to say that we will also have an end of the summer gallery exhibition! I think the kids will get a kick out of seeing their work curated in a gallery setting.

Photo via RKAP’s Facebook

The sisters cited that CAPS (Children’s Art Program), a program their mother co-directed, has been a great inspiration for their program as well. “We grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn- but like many families we got priced out in the late 90’s,” Katherine continues. “We’ve lived in Ridgewood ever since. When we were kids in Williamsburg, we spent a few summers at a program our mom co-directed called CAPS. We had a blast! It’s a big inspiration for our program.”

Children’s art via RKAP’s Facebook

Sisters Madeline and Katherine are no strangers to the arts and both come from an extensive arts background. Their father is the owner of Valentine gallery on Seneca Ave; Katherine is an artist and has worked for the past six years as a head teacher at an art day camp in Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Madeline is a children’s book author and illustrator. “We both love Ridgewood, and we both love working with kids, and have extensive experience doing so,” Madeline says. “We talked often about getting a program together. Our dad owns Valentine gallery, which has been a mainstay of the Bushwick/Ridgewood art scene for four years now. When he offered us the gallery for the program space, it all fell together!”

RKAP’s weekly summer sessions begin July 6th and run through August 21st, Monday through Friday 9AM-3PM. For more information you can visit their website here or give them a call at (718) 915-7479.