Upon becoming a new mom last March to Graham, Shannon Merenstein saw a need for an art studio in the city and the inspiration for Hatch emerged. Part art-making studio, part community-gathering space, Hatch Art Studio aspires to be a special place in Pittsburgh for people of all ages to explore, create, and imagine.
Hatch offers a variety of different art and inspiration programs for different ages and interests.
We had the opportunity to bring our three-year-old, Lucas, to try out their Art Play (2.5 to 4yo) and Little Explorers Class (3-4yo). Hatch very much encourages interactive and creative play from the time you arrive. We were a few minutes early to class, but they had sidewalk chalk set up outside the studio, with a cute little note saying “Early to Art Play? Can you draw circles, squares, and triangles with chalk outside of Hatch?” Brilliant!
The studio is open and inviting. As soon as we stepped in, Luke was off taking in all toys and stations they had around the space. Magnetic walls, wooden trucks, play-do and clay with treasures buried in it – it offered a lot of fun ways to explore.
Hatch starts their program sessions with a small group project that incorporates a piece of the larger project into it to introduce the kids to what they’ll be working with that day. As well as offers a chance for group play.
One of the things that I really liked about Hatch Art Studio, as a mom, is that they encourage the children to explore. Ms. Tina was our teacher for both sessions and she did a great job interacting with each student, talking with them about their project, or getting down on their level and playing blocks, if they weren’t interested in sitting at the big art table at that moment. I found this to be welcoming, as a mom whose little guy doesn’t have a still bone in his body and is interested in all things new!
For the Art Play session the kids made sun catchers using contact paper and creating designs from multi-color tissue paper shapes, feathers, and other elements. Lucas loved being able to use the elements to make his own shapes and creations on his sun catcher and enjoyed talking about what he was creating – which I always find to be a great way to learn.
After the kids are finished with their projects, they are able to get down and play again in the space, moving from one station to the other.
For Art Play, the classes sometimes focus on a theme or book, and other times your little ones will explore the endless possibilities of paint, clay, and other materials.
Hatch Art Studio is nestled in Point Breeze, with easy access to Mellon and Frick Park and all the outdoors have to offer. The Little Explorers Class aims at using nature as inspiration for the class with nature-themed projects.
For the Little Explorers class we attended, Ms. Tina explained to the kids that they were going to be making capes to use for future explorations in the park. We also enjoyed looking at the previously made nature mobiles that hung on the wall. These were made with leaves and twigs, pine cones and twine. Something every explorer would enjoy collecting.
The cape project allowed the kids to explore painting on their own canvas (their capes) with paint brushes, sponges, gluing on fabric shapes and colors and using their hands to create their own “super hero” cape, as Luke called it! This class, aimed for 3-4 year olds, was a little more active and engaging and Luke seemed to be interested in staying at the art table and finishing his project because he was really excited about the paints.
As with the first class, there were stations around the room that kids could use at any time throughout the class. One station that I thought was really neat, and all the kids seemed to enjoy, was on their magnetic wall, they had pieces of tin foil that the kids could paint on with brushes and sponges. Very creative on Hatch’s part, but also an easy take-away for parents looking for engaging activities that are easily recreated at home.
Each Hatch class started and ended with all the kids in a circle singing a cute little “Hatch Friends” song and Luke was singing for the rest of the day.
Hatch offers classes for little ones throughout the week, as well as options for 4-week and 8-week sessions. You can check out all their classes that are coming up here: Hatch PGH Classes
And moms, a bonus – they offer adult classes and workshops, too!
Hatch Art Studio is a vibrant and inspiring little studio in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It’s a space to make art, develop creative thinking, spark curiosity, and use your imagination. We hope to be a special place for families in the Pittsburgh community by offering a range of creative experiences including ongoing age-specific classes, specialty workshops, art-centric birthday parties, and open studio time where creatives of all ages can make art and explore new ideas alongside each other.