We all know kiddos are naturally creative. Maybe they’ve found an artistic passion squishing through their pudgy little fingers on a pottery wheel. Maybe inspiration comes on a drawing pad or into the creation of a finger puppet. Whether your wee ones love to sculpt, build, paint, weave or draw, they’ll find something to create and call their very own at Art Produce’s Community Art Classes. And for you, Parents? We’ll meet you in the urban garden, the Gallery, the tasting room or eatery. Read on to find out why Art Produce has it all!

What is Art Produce?
Situated in historic North Park’s Arts District, Art Produce is a place where community meets culture. Their mission is to encourage engagement through art, education, and culture of the neighborhood. Owner of Stone Paper Scissors, Lynn Susholtz’s concept for Art Produce was to create an approachable center where people of all ages could come together. Once an old boarded up building, Art Produce is now a magical place to create and share art, eat, drink, and play.

Make it Yourself
This drop-in community art program is perfect for blooming artists big and small. Your kiddies can create and experiment every Saturday from 2 – 4 p.m. with an ever-changing array of techniques and materials such as paint, pencils, clay, found objects, paper, and more. Drop-in art classes are led by professional artists and educators. One of our favorite art classes is Finger Puppets, led by Terri Hughes-Oelrich, author and illustrator of Kalea & Her Sweet Tooth and founder of San Diego’s Sugar Museum. Little ones 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Donations for Make It Yourself are welcome. Pay what you can! Contact Art Produce for upcoming events.

Insider’s Tip: For your mini art aficionado, a Make It Yourself art class is the perfect backdrop for a unique and memorable birthday activity. Best suited for kiddos ages 6 – 7, advance notice is required. Contact the studio for more information.

Photo: Lynn S. via Yelp

Once an old asphalt parking lot, Art Produce created an urban organic garden and orchard sustained by a rainwater catchment and solar energy system. The design of this urban garden makes it comfortable for visitors to enjoy an array of activities such as performances, community events, art exhibitions, and film screenings. It also includes an outdoor classroom and workspace where art classes often take place. We’re pretty sure your miniature smartie pants will enjoy pointing out as many fruits and vegetables as they can! The garden has lots of space for the little ones to get their wiggles and giggles out! It’s also pet-friendly. Score!

Insider’s Tip: There are many frog designs hidden throughout the property. See how many frogs your little tadpoles can find starting in the garden. Make a game of it!

Art Produce Gallery is a unique space entirely visible from the sidewalk making it accessible to everyone—including your curious little minion! Past events include sculptural installations, mixed media, and live performances. For more information about the Gallery, its current exhibit, and its artist residencies, click here.

Insider’s Tip: The entrance to the Gallery is through Tostadas. Your cherubs will be dazzled by the Gallery’s enormous glass door—fingerprints allowed!

Eat & Drink
Parents, you won’t want to miss this: ChuckAlek Biergarten has an onsite tasting room. ChuckAlek specializes in German-style lagers, original-era porter & stout, and sours. They are known for working with local culinary experts and hop-growers to create new and exciting beers. Grab a taster while your little half-pint (sorry, we had to!) is creating art! You can thank us later.

Hungry? Grab a bite to eat at Tostadas Fresh Fruit & Seafood Bar, the onsite eatery. Tostadas serves up bold new flavors, freshness, and fish—on what else—tostada shells! Try the Sandia: ahi tuna, watermelon, red onion, jicama, apples, cucumber, mango, peanuts, soy, orange, lemon juice, and chipotle mayo on a delicious, crunchy shell. You’re welcome!

The little ones won’t be able to resist the “jugos” on the menu. With names like Yellow Submarine, Clock Work Orange, and Run Forrest, who could?

Insider’s Tip: The entrance to the ChuckAlek is at the garden entry from Herman Street. The entrance to Tostadas is on University Avenue.

For more information on art programs through Art Produce, click here.

For more information on Stone Paper Scissors and its award winning public art projects for parks, schools, and community initiatives, click here.

3139 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92104
Online: artproduce.org

—Elizabeth Silva (photos, too)


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