A Creative Art Party

Melissa Kossler Dutton

If you've got an artistic kid, consider a birthday party at Creative Art Studio, just east of Bexley on East Main Street. The birthday child and his or her guests can paint, paste and create to their hearts' content - and someone else will clean up.

"Leave the mess for us. That's what I always say," said studio owner Anna Kuenzli, a licensed art teacher.

She encourages kids to express themselves in a variety of mediums and happily allows them to use permanent markers and glitter.

Kuenzli's brightly-painted studio features mismatched chairs and bins overflowing with craft supplies.

"It's funky. It's a place where you don't feel bad if you spill something," she said. "It's a comfortable space and it feels good to be there."

And if you're really working hard, she'll turn up the dance music.

The parties are designed to teach the kids something - even though they're not likely to realize it, she said.

"I see the learning the aspect of it," Kuenzli said. "They're actually doing something other than watching a movie. They're getting creative - using a different outlet."

WHAT: Creative Art Studio

WHERE: 2831 E. Main St., Columbus 43209

WHY: This vibrant art studio is a great place for kids to get creative. Kuenzli helps kids tap their inner artists.

"When they're here, they feel like a real artist," she said.

She carefully walks kids through the day's art project - keeping them on track but letting them make their piece unique. Kuenzli also has a great rapport with kids and creates a fun party atmosphere.

COST: $20 per child with a minimum of 8 children (no charge for the birthday child). Up to 25 children can be accommodated. Parents can register for the party online. Full payment is due on the day of the party.

WHEN: Parties can be planned for Friday afternoons and any time Saturday and Sunday. Kuenzli is flexible about other days if the studio is available. Parents can inquire over the phone or through the website.

WHAT THE VENUE PROVIDES: Kuenzli collaborates with each family about an art project for party guests to make. Each child will go home with a unique project. The studio has tables where children can eat and visit. The studio provides aprons for children to wear over their clothing while they paint. Most families skip party favors since guests have a project to take home.

WHAT YOU PROVIDE: All food and beverages, place settings and any party decorations.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The studio also hosts adult parties. Kuenzli will organize family parties, showers and girls' night out events.

"It totally works for adults," she said.

CONTACT: 614-648-0063, artwithanna.org