Picassos Garage Art Therapy Studio
art therapy for children in torotno

art therapy studio for kids


expressive  |  Art is an outward expression of energy, thoughts and feelings.

familiar  |  The process of creating art is a familiar one. Many of the tools are readily available and do not require initiating instructions to get started.

whimsical  |  Working creatively in a non-judgmental non-academic way allows for a joyful experience.

positive  |  Being creative can often be enjoyable which can positively shift moods.

externalizing  |  Creating artwork allows students to get out on paper issues that are challenging to express while providing a new perspective in which to reflect.

empowering  |   Finding success in the process, improving skills and appreciation of the finished product in an art-making experience works to strengthen individuals self-esteem.

concrete  |  The art products remain with the students as a positive reminder of their creativity and accomplishments.

mindful  |  Art making provides an opportunity to practice focus and encourages being present in the here and now. 

Picasso's Garage and owner Claire Nicholls are proud to celebrate 18 years of inspiring creativity. The initial three-week camp session in the summer of 2005 blossomed into a thriving art school comprising of a.m./p.m. kindergarten and after-school art classes five days a week, plus an additional summer art camp annually (2014-2018). "I have a loyal following of students, some of whom have returned year after year. They are a constant source of inspiration and have challenged me to broaden my own knowledge of art history. I'm so grateful for a job that doesn't seem like work most of the time." (2014)

Over 600 students attended the art programs over the years. These students explored over 300 different artists. Enrolment continues to flourish thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations from my students and their parents. Demand for additional classes prompted an expansion into a larger venue at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works during the summer camp months (2014-2018). Once again, children attending summer camp worked on creative projects inspired by a variety of artists and techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. In addition to three-and-a-half hours of hands-on, creative expression, children will take advantage of the Brick Works' tranquil, natural surroundings.

In 2017 Picasso's Garage expanded its services to include art-based Psychotherapy. Due to the 2020 Pandemic restrictions making it difficult to accommodate multiple students in a small space, I have shifted my studio practice away from group art lessons to focus exclusively on providing Individual Art Therapy. As an art therapist, I work primarily on children and youth experiencing challenges related to parental separation or divorce, childhood anxiety, and childhood depression.

"Art therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate." (CATA).  

Picasso's Garage Art Studio was recognized as the #3 best place for "Kids at Play" in Toronto Life's Top 300 "the City's Best" (2014). In 2016 Picasso's Garage Art Camp ranked Top 5 "Things for Kids to Do this Summer" in Toronto Life Magazine and as Top 10 "Best Summer Day Camps in Toronto" by SavvyMom.ca. >>more in the news

The experience of running these classes has shown me firsthand the positive impact of the creative process for both kids and adults.