City Offers Art Class for Kids and Their Parents

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Jessica James, the leader of the Wee Paint! class in Oxford, holds up February’s class project. Photo by Tyler Groth

Tyler Groth

Wee Paint! helps children and parents bond as they stick paint brushes into paint and create memories together. The program, operated through the Oxford’s Parks and Recreation Department, is open to children ages three to seven and their parents and other community members.

Although the monthly painting sessions just began in September of 2018, their growing popularity has already forced the program to move to larger quarters.

Jessica James, lead preschool teacher at TRI Community Center in Oxford, is the creator of the art class. She said that she saw the success of the program at another school and wanted to bring it to Oxford.

“It’s been a great hit since the start,” James said. “We started out in my preschool classroom but recently it has become very crammed so we had to move our class to the Senior Center right by the community pool.”

Jaimie Ross, a first-time class participant with her daughter this past Thursday, said she heard about the activity through a parents’ Facebook group.

Dustin Hoelle and his daughter Peyton, a kindergartner, finish up the hand painting portion of their masterpiece. Photo by Tyler Groth

The class, which is open to Oxford and non-Oxford residents, only lasts about 45 minutes, but in that short window parents and their children create artistic pieces using paint and sometimes even their hands and feet.

Laura Desmond, a mother who has attended the class with her daughter multiple times, said it’s a great atmosphere and the class is valuable shared time with her preschooler.

“It’s casual, no-pressure, a really fun environment,” Desmond said. “It’s special one-on-one time with my daughter and she gets to see her friends from school.”

Oxford resident Jaimie Ross and her daughter, Eleanora, work to paint the ‘E’ in ‘LOVE’ for February’s class. Photo by Tyler Groth

James also said that the classes are themed. This past Thursday, parents and their kids made Valentine’s Day themed artwork that involved making prints with their hands and feet. “But there are no guidelines and participants are allowed to tweak their art in any way they want,” James said.

The class has been held once a month since September, and plans are to have one per month through May. James says she is hopeful that she will be able to continue this class at the beginning of next school year after a brief summer break, and she aims to have a consistent monthly date.

The class costs $10 for one adult/child pair ($11 for nonresidents of Oxford), James said. Each additional child or canvas is another $5 ($6 for nonresidents). “We supply everything they would need to create their art and we are in charge of all the cleanup. Parents don’t have to do a thing,” she said.

James said she is looking ahead to March, when the theme will be angled toward St. Patrick’s Day.