A Kiss of Creativity Comes to Encino

By Carolyn Richardson

fun ideas for kids

Owner Gassia Maroudian with daughter Lori, left and her best friend Anya at Petit Bizoo. PHOTO BY CAROLYN RICHARDSON

A new art studio that caters to kids opened this spring at Encino Town Center, teaching arts skills while allowing children’s self-directed creativity to flourish. Petit Bizoo, “a small kiss” in French, serves ages 4 and up, and offers mommy-and-me classes for toddlers and unique workshops for adult art lovers as well.

“I want to teach art and awareness to families, schools, adults and children. [To show them] that art can be a part of our life even if we don’t want to be artists, ” says owner Gassia Mouradian, who fell in love with teaching visual arts in schools while she pursued interior design in college.

Mouradian draws upon her broad experience and fine-arts education to guide her students’ work, but doesn’t believe in teaching art in a linear fashion. “There is no step-by-step in my system,” she says. “If I learn to draw a bird, it doesn’t mean I can paint a horse.” Her goal is to help children create and find their interest in the visual arts, not to give them one medium or one style to master in each class.

For that reason, Mouradian’s studio is a place where kids can explore their creativity on their terms. In 90-minute classes, kids to use various materials to create art around themes that Maroudian draws from the work of famous artists, local working artists and even subjects from pop culture. From the start, kids are able to create with ceramics, hone their skills at printmaking, create sculptures and develop animation – all led by their inspiration.

Mouradian promotes freedom of expression and encourages students to appreciate classmates’ work. Instead of being in the center of the classroom, she allows students to work in groups and collaborate. “I do not use easels,” she says. “Here we just sit together. We don’t copy each other, we get inspiration. And we appreciate it. It’s not a bad thing.”

In addition to children’s arts classes, Petit Bizoo hosts workshops for teens and adults in watercolor painting and modern calligraphy, and a weekly paint night. The studio also hosts birthday parties for up to 20 children.

Petit Bizoo is located at Encino Town Center, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Suite 208. For more information call 818-421-3724 or visit them online on Facebook here.

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