The walls of Anna Banana’s colorful studio are lined with the artwork of famous and influential artists alongside mini replicas crafted by the small hands of her students.
Georgetown’s newest arts and craft studio opened Jan. 7 and provides hands-on art lessons for children ages 2-8 taught by owner Anne Freeman.?“I was an art dealer for 20 years, but I really wanted to find something that would marry my love of art with my desire to teach,” said Freeman.
Before opening Anna Banana’s Arts and Crafts on S Street, the enthusiastic Freeman taught art privately for two years and was also the instructor at the Art Resource Program at Chevy Chase Bethesda Community Children’s Center and at the Art Resource Unit at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church Nursery School.
Each class begins with a short lesson about a different artist and the importance of their work. Then, Freeman allows her students to recreate the artist’s work using their own imagination.
For example, students learn about Josef Albers, the German artist known for his color experiments, or Alexander Calder, the American sculptor famous for his mobiles, and get to recreate those experiments using colors and shapes of their choice.
“I try to keep it simple. I don’t overwhelm them with information. I give them an idea, I show them examples, and I have them go at it. It’s supposed to be fun, but educational at the same time,” said Freeman.
The small classes of up to ten students are also introduced to the basics of art, like color combinations, the color wheel, and dimensions, through the use of different materials and tech- niques, such as clay, watercolors, and paper pulp. Students also create seasonal crafts, such as Valentines for their parents.
When Freeman decided to expand her private business, she was excited to find the Georgetown location, “I’ve worked and lived in this area for a long time and when I saw the space, I had to have it” said Freeman of her S Street location. “It’s just a great place. Parents can go get coffee or go for a walk during class. So, it can give them a little break.”
The arts center also hosts birthday parties for small groups including a craft project and games, as well as drop in hours on the first and third Saturday of every month, with register required 24 hours in advance.
Anna Banana Arts and Crafts is gearing up for its spring session, beginning March 18, well as a day camp during the summer months. Sessions are offered in 10-week increments.
The summer day camp, running in June and July, will provide children with a morning lesson and an afternoon at the nearby park.
For more information, or to register, visit (www.annabananaartsandcrafts.com)[http://www.annabananaartsandcrafts.com]