Unique Art Studio Opens in Irvington: Fostering Creativity in Local Kids

Art XO Studio Owners Melissa Gilbert and Kristina Schmidt

At the end of July, long-time Irvington residents Kristina Schmidt and Melissa Gilbert, opened the doors to their brand new paint and craft studio to inspire kids and adults to explore their inner artists in the village they call home. Art XO hopes to encourage mess-making, outside-of-the-box thinking, and collaboration among those who partake in the unique activities offered at the studio.

With a different approach to teaching fundamental art skills, Schmidt and Gilbert set the precedent for self-directed creation. People of all ages can walk into the studio on a whim, and select a project of their choosing with any of the available supplies. With a free-flowing style of operation, the studio’s environment is intended to evoke relaxation and inspiration.

Photo by Sarah Dolgin

If locals are seeking art instruction with greater guidance, Art XO will be offering classes for a variety of age groups. While the studio is offering classes, the classes will stray from the formal layout of a stereotypical class. “Arxercise,” an Art XO original, is an art class intended to connect the inner artist and athlete in all who participate. From combinations involving bowling and paint, to many other adaptive sports, Schmidt and Gilbert aim to expand their art instruction to connect art with healthy habits such as physical activity.

With only a few months to prepare the space, Art XO was created with a lot of help from local businesses. “It was a passion project for everyone involved. We want to give back,” explained Kristina. Highlighting the importance of both physical and mental wellness is a priority for Art XO, and by connecting community members with nature, creativity, and imagination, they hope to enhance the well-being of the community as a whole.

Art XO offers services such as birthday parties, classes, workshops, and a variety of walk-in projects. For more information regarding Art XO studio, check out their website at www.artxostudio.com.

Looking for other creative outlets for your kids in the River Towns? There are many to choose from including three of our other favorites below.

Logrea Dance Academy 

At Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining, owner Beth Fritz-Logrea shares her love for ballet with each student who joins the studio. “In dance, you have to express emotion through the body without words. You have to interpret and then tell the story through the music and choreography alone. Our students carry this kind of creativity and imagination into their own lives, no matter what the forum.” By building their love for dance through the classes offered at her studio, Logrea helps children with a variety of skills, such as “their development, their creativity, their confidence, self-esteem,” and many more.

For more information, visit the academy’s website at https://www.logreadance.com.

Music Hall Academy

At the Music Hall Academy, located in Tarrytown, children are exposed to the process of putting on a theater production and challenged to participate in a variety of ways in order to build life-long skills. Peter Royston, creator of the program at the Music Hall Academy, hopes to maximize the theater experience for all of his students. “At the Music Hall Academy, we want our shows and workshops to be as student-driven as possible. We are working to have young people be a part of the process of designing costumes and sets and be a part of the technical aspects of lights and sound as well as acting on stage. We have student choreographers and are working to have student directors!”

To get involved, visit https://tarrytownmusichall.org/academy/.

A Maze in Pottery

A Maze in Pottery is a studio located in Briarcliff Manor, where children are encouraged to explore their creative side by bringing unpainted pottery to life with a spectrum of vibrant colors. “Art provides an essential outlet for emotional expression by giving a non-verbal medium for sharing their feelings,” said Aggie Shah, owner of A Maze in Pottery. Shah believes that by painting, children can develop their own sense of innovation, and avoid the creative boundaries that exist in many other areas of their lives.

To learn more about A Maze in Pottery, visit their website at http://www.amazeinpottery.com

 

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