Category Archives: News

Enroll Now for Classes!

We have a broad range of classes available to Spark imagination before school lets out for the summer! View our full schedule of classes here.  Enroll here.  Our new schedule includes the following:

Junior Sparklers (ages 3-4)

Imagination will ignite as Sparklers think about the many di­fferent times people wear hats and why. Is it for a costume? To protect their heads? To support a team? To match an outfit? Sparklers will make a mold of their head and create their very own special hat as one of many projects they complete during this unique session. Hats off­ to anyone who enrolls! Enroll

Sparklers (ages 4-9)

Tall Tales
Imagination will ignite as Sparklers learn, explore, create, and experience the tales written from the past. Stories of dragons, princesses, wolves, castles, magical shoes, and so much more. Each week Sparklers will create or call upon a di­fferent tale. What will this tale inspire? costumes? puppets? props? illustrations? towers? castles? Will they change the stories to create their own version of the fantastical tales? Imagination will ignite as the Sparklers explore Tall Tales. Enroll

Advanced Sparklers (ages 8 -12)

Our Advanced Sparklers class is an opportunity for our older students to explore a variety of art processes and enhance their skills.  The first half of class is focused around a specific skills such as sketching, and the second hour is time for the students to explore and focus on any form of art they desire.  During this time they may pursue any idea, skill, or project with the help and encouragement of the teachers. Enroll

Homeschool Classes

During our homeschool classes students will get to experience a wide variety of artists, techniques, and skills.  Students will explore diverse artists through out history such as Claus  Oldenberg, Monet, Mondrian, and many more! Enroll

Mama and Me

During this class, toddlers will have the opportunity to explore different colors, textures, and artistic processes.  These processes will help build fine motor skills and problem solving. Enroll

Ode to Band-Aids

At The Art Spark we are constantly searching for ways to incorporate life-experiences into playtime. One of the most fascinating ways we have held the attention of toddlers and young children is with the magic of band-aids.  A band-aid is a trophy, (I survived a terrible fall!) a sticker, a toy, and an instantaneous healer. When children are presented with the opportunity to use band-aids as a toy to magically heal an “injured” animal (usually an animal they paper mached or one of our many stuffed animals) they act as if they won the kid lottery.  By allowing children to play with something they normally have to injure themselves to obtain, they “beat the system.”

Children experience what it is like to be on the other side of the band-aid. Instead of simply receiving the band-aid they are creating a story of their animal’s injury, and act as the healer & doctor with the all-powerful band-aid.  They develop fine-motor-skills as they work independently to open and apply the sticky surface to their animals.   Usually most animals end up with anywhere between 5 & 20 band-aids.  (For many children, they apply band-aids until the box runs out.) Children feel an overwhelming sense of pride in applying the band-aids, healing their animals, but mostly in being able to use something that is usually reserved for adults.

Of course Band-Aids are just one of the many activity centers we offer for toddlers at The Art Spark.  But what do they always gravitate towards? The Band-Aids. So next time you are wondering how to spend an afternoon with your toddler, splurge on a $3 box of Band-Aids and pretend their favorite stuffed animal needs some magical healing. Unknown-2

Happy Healing,
-Miss Emily

Recap of 2013

Phew! 2013 was quite the busy year for The Art Spark.

We worked harder than ever and here are a few highlights. We…
…created Spark Starters with the help of our designer, Kate Otte. Spark Starters are unique art kits with a book written by Jacquelyn Graff and Emily Otte. The book “Get Inspired” is question-based, calling upon each students’ knowledge to create original artworks.
…sold Spark Starters at a number of events and stores throughout the city. We sold our kits at The Oakley Flea, Night Owl Market, & Bagels and Boutiques. The kits are also offered for purchase in the following locations.
…hosted more birthday parties than ever before. We were booked most weekends of 2013 with birthday parties. Some of the themes children created included: Down on the Farm, Angry Birds, The Mystery of the Missing Birthday Cake, Superheros, Rainbows and Unicorns, Monkeys, and more!
…hosted over 200 Campers for Summer Camp. Each year our camp enrollment has increased dramatically and this year was no different! Maybe it’s the fact that each year brings new, unique ideas and projects to the table? Maybe it’s the environment we build as a team?
…brought our after school program to Sacred Heart School.  We are always looking for schools in need of art programs, and Sacred Heart has been a great fit for The Art Spark.  Children are excited to learn and grow as they develop new techniques in art, as well as learn how to work together as a team.
…partnered with IKEA, to offer FREE crafts one Saturday each month. What better way to market than to work with a store that knows the value of art for children at all ages? We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to offer wonderful crafts and projects to the public for FREE one day each month.  If your child has been missing The Art Spark, but his/her schedule has been too busy to join a class, then simply check our IKEA craft dates!
…began customizing events for corporations.  When GE contacted us to build a winter wonderland for over 600 children to ignite imagination for their annual day with Santa, it felt like a dream come true. There is nothing The Art Spark loves more than creating environments for children to engage in.  When children play in our environments they use their imagination which helps them to stimulate cognitive skills, communication skills, speech, problem solving skills, and more. For a clearer understanding of the importance of play and imagination refer to this article: “The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development.” Here is a quote from the article that particularly resounds with why The Art Spark teaches and plays the way we do:

The research reviewed by Berk, Mann & Ogan, (2006) and Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk, & Singer (2009) suggest that make-believe games are forerunners of the important capacity for forms of self-regulation including reduced aggression, delay of gratification, civility, and empathy. When children use toys to  introduce possible scenarios or friends, the representation of multiple perspectives occurs naturally. Taking on different roles allows children the unique opportunity to learn social skills such as communication, problem solving, and empathy (Hughes, 1999).

An important  benefit of early pretend play may be its enhancement of the child’s capacity for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, creativity (Russ, 2004; Singer & Singer, 2005). Russ, for example, in longitudinal  studies, found that early imaginative play was associated with increased creative performance years later (Russ, 2004; Russ, & Fiorelli,  2010). Root-Bernstein’s research with clearly creative individuals such as Nobel Prize winners and MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant  awardees, indicated  that early childhood  games about make-believe worlds were more frequent in such individuals than in control participants in their fields (Root-Bernstein, 2012).

I got a little carried away, back to what we did in 2013…
...hosted 70 campers for Winter Camp. During winter break (which has been indefinitely extended due to the subzero temperatures…) we offered 3 camps for children to ignite imagination. All but one filled to capacity. During these camps we realized just how much we can let the kids’ ideas rule camp.  We allowed the children to brainstorm ideas and search the studio to find the most effective tools for each project.  With our questions and guidance their ideas blossomed!

...brought back our Mama and Me Class. It’s about time too! If you have a 2 year old who is naturally curious who would like to paint with pudding, practice fine motor skills, and begin to piece together the puzzle of life, then consider signing up for Mama and Me!

We did a lot throughout the year! (Too much to list!) Miss Jacquelyn and Miss Emily also each did a number of things outside The Art Spark including: saving kittens, the INSANITY workout, create personal art, learn the ukulele, half marathons, weddings, and more! Here’s to an even better 2014! Thanks for joining us on this amazing adventure that is life.

Miss Emily

Check out The Art Spark’s winter camps for some frosty fun!

Winter Camp

Enroll your child today for any or all of our winter camps. Winter camp is packed with ways for your child to explore imagination. During each camp we will use a variety of art materials, (including but not limited to: paint, clay, watercolors, Model Magic, markers, stamps, glue, fabric, craft supplies) and explore a new theme! While at The Art Spark, your child will work on projects independently and as a team. Please pack a snack for your child for each day of camp. (No peanuts, tree nuts, meat, chicken or pork.) Make sure your child wears clothes he/she can get messy in. (We cannot guarantee that our paint will wash out!)

Dates and times available for your child to attend winter camp:

Polar Bear Palooza: December 27 9-12 OR 1-4 PM
Snowman Land: January 2 9-12 OR 1-4 PM
Icicle Island: January 3 9-12 OR 1-4 PM

Ages: 4-9 years
Cost: $35 per day, per camp (Payment is due upon arrival of camp.) Check or cash only accepted. Checks should be made out to: The Art Spark. If you prefer to pay in advance, please mail a check to:
The Art Spark
8401 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

Polar Bear Palooza
December 27, 2013
9-12 OR 1-4 PM
What is a party like when it’s packed with polar bears? Is it inside an igloo? Are there icy waters to swim in? Is there ice fishing? party hats? snowy slides? It will be up to the Sparklers to decide how this palooza will play out! Enroll

Snowman Land
January 2, 2014
9-12 OR 1-4 PM
Welcome to a world where everything is made of snow. The people, the cars, the places you know! Sparklers will work together to create snow people, snow pets, snow cones, and all the snowy things they imagine in Snowman Land!! Enroll

The Mystery of Icicle Island!
January 3, 2014
9-12 OR 1-4 PM
Not long ago Icicle Island was discovered. It is believed that Jack Frost came and transformed what was once a lush beautiful island into a snowy-arctic tundra. Sparklers will create tools, maps, and traps to track down Jack Frost to restore the island to it’s original state. Enroll


Our studio is in the basement of Rockwern Academy.
Coming from I-71 (Kenwood Mall Area)
Head North on Montgomery Road. Go past Panera, Chipotle, Galbraith Road, and Red Lobster. Rockwern Academy will be on your left. Use the driveway on your left. It is right before Sturbridge road. (Do NOT use the Sturbridge entrance to the school. We cannot let you in from this entrance.) These doors will be locked and you will not be able to get in this way.) Come up the driveway and you will see windows from our studio painted that say, The Art Spark. Use the entrance closest to these windows. If you have any trouble finding us, please call 513.936.8333.

The Art Spark Has Been Picked to be on Hulafrog’s Top Ten List “Ten Spooktacular Crafts and Occasions!”

We are excited to announce that The Art Spark’s Annual Halloween Pumpkin Painting Party has been picked to be on Hulafrog’s Spooktacular Top Ten List!

Join Us for our annual Halloween Pumpkin Painting Party!
When: October 27,2013
Times: 10 AM-12 PM ages 3-4 years (siblings also welcome, all children must be potty trained)
12:30-2:30 ages 4-9 years
3:00-5:00 ages 4-9 years
Cost: $22 per child (Cash or check only to be paid the day of the event.)
Description: A trick-or-treat machine full of candy and surprises, a pumpkin patch, a castle with cobwebs, Frankenstein, a lesson in potions, mummy costumes, and much more awaits Sparklers at this fun party. Children will explore and play in our studio, paint and decorate pumpkins, collect loot from the trick-or-treat machine, and have a special Halloween snack! Please dress your child in clothes he/she can get messy in.

How do I secure a spot?
Securing a spot for your child is easy. All you need to do is send us the following information to our email address:

Your name and a phone number where you can be reached.
Your child’s name, age, and any allergies your child has.
The event he or she will attend with the time he or she will attend.



Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Fall!

It’s hard to believe that the Summer is ending and that Fall is right around the corner.  The Art Spark had such a wonderful summer filled with magical camps and creative campers. Kids told us they had never had so much fun at a camp before (and they’ve been to a lot). We look forward to the Fall and to the production of our Spark Starter kits! Our boxes for our kits are being screen printed by Powerhouse this week and we couldn’t be more excited.

Summer Camp Fun

Spark Starter Production


We will be updating our home page each week with a blog about the previous camp! But you don’t have to just read about it, see what camps are still available for your child here. Enroll your child here.

This short week of camp did not prevent campers from creating a room covered in snow, ice, penguins, and more! One of my favorite things about being a teacher at The Art Spark is that I can constantly experiment artistic processes with students to continue learning myself!  During this camp, Sparklers and I discovered that by mixing glue, shaving cream, and starch we could create a fluffy, stretchy, snow! We used this new concoction to create snow people and play! Sparklers were also inspired by the northern lights during this camp to create colorful paintings. Sparklers learned the wet on wet watercolor technique to watch watercolors swirl (just like the Northern lights!) across their pages. By Wednesday we were able to go ice fishing, sled riding, and play in a giant igloo that we created!




We will be updating our home page each week with a blog about the previous camp! But you don’t have to just ready about it, see what camps are still available for your child here. Enroll your child here.

What makes an amusement park special? The rides? The food? The shows? Sparklers pulled t0gether and decided that their park needed ALL of these important components! Sparklers first voted as a team to decide the “theme” to their theme park. The morning camp decided that an outer space park would be a galactic blast! They worked hard to build a roller coaster that toy cars could really go on.  Sparklers also created keychains to sell in their shiny tin souvenir shop.   The afternoon camp worked hard to create a theme park that was full of candy. They created an arcade full of games featuring peppermint skeeball and the candy frog hopper pond. Sparklers also transformed a box into a gingerbread house restaurant. With all of The Art Sparks crazy art materials at their fingertips, Sparklers were able to create a theme park all their own. See for yourself!

-Miss Emily

Camper’s Paradise

We will be updating our home page each week with a blog about the previous camp! But you don’t have to just ready about it, see what camps are still available for your child here. Enroll your child here.

Camper’s Paradise was an opportunity for Sparklers to imagine the type of sleep away camp that they would like to visit. As expected, Sparklers came up with lots of fun activities and places for their camp including: a lake with a canoe, a mess hall, colorful tents, archery, a barn, and much more! Campers were challenged with many questions regarding which art materials to use to create their activities  and well as how to make their activities functional.

Camper’s decided that our camp would be called Camp *Clap* (I use * because it was the sound not the word!) On Friday, Camper’s were busy canoeing in the lake, reading in the tents, watering flowers, waiting on each other in the mess all, and engaging in all the fun activities that their imagination created.  As I watch Sparklers actively experiencing their new environment, I recall how important play is in a child’s development. I’ll leave with some quotes that emphasize how instrumental play is in the developmental process.

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” -Diane Ackerman
“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” -Abraham Maslow
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” -Fred Rogers
“Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.” -Stuart Brown MD
“Children need the freedom and the time to play.  Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” -Kay Jamison
“Do not keep children to this studies by compulsion but by play.” -Plato

-Miss Emily