Picasso's Garage

Located in mid-town Toronto, Picasso’s Garage has inspired creative expression in children for more than 11 years.

Located in mid-town Toronto, Picasso’s Garage has inspired creative expression in children for more than 11 years. Art programs are tailored to a variety of skill levels and expose students to a myriad of materials and techniques including watercolour, pastel, printmaking, sculpture, sketching and more. Sessions examine the works and styles of historic and modern-day artists including Emily Carr, Wassily Kandinsky, Maude Lewis, Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh and many others. While learning art history, students enjoy one-on-one instruction and make new friends in the small class sizes. Programs culminate in an art show where the budding artists can showcase their own masterpieces.

Other exciting programs include a new Mother-Daughter Altered Book Workshop, designed for moms and their pre-teen and teen daughters. This six-week program provides examples and techniques for transforming old books into one-of-a-kind pieces of art. There’s unlimited potential for creative expression and creating interesting work through collage, mixed-media and journaling. All materials are provided and no prior experience is required.

Momma Needs Art, Too: Every Wednesday in July, Claire will offer studio time for adults, where grownups can gather for creative expression and social networking. The sessions are modelled after the popular kids art program and will feature projects inspired by a different artist. After a morning of creative exploration, the group will head to the onsite café for lunch.


For the 3rd year, Picasso’s Garage will swap its urban digs for the beautiful ravine setting and larger venue at Evergreen Brick Works, a year-round destination for experiential learning, collaboration, fun and celebration on the themes of nature, culture and community. Each season, the Davisville Village art studio relocates to the community environmental centre to accommodate the growing demand for more programs.

Summer Art Camp is an adventure in art and nature. Four week-long sessions are offered in July focusing on a combination of drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. Geared for children ages 4 to 14, a typical camp day includes an introduction to a featured artist, nature walk, group games and three-and-a-half hours of hands-on creative expression.

Summer camp programs are designed for imaginative kids of varying abilities and diverse interests. Each day, kids work with a variety of mediums such as watercolours, pastels, clay, wire and even found objects. Some of the techniques covered include relievo, lithography, portraiture, cubism, cartooning and expressionism. The small class sizes (six to ten, depending on age) allow for lots of one-on-one guidance and help build new friendships. In addition to creating spectacular works of art, students attending camp will take full advantage of Evergreen Brick Works’ tranquil, natural surroundings. They'll enjoy nature walks with stops for sketching landscapes, flora, fauna and found objects.

Registration for all programs is now open and space fills up quickly. For more information about classes, summer camp and Momma Needs Art, Too, visit PicassosGarage.com.

Claire Nicholls, owner and art instructor at Picasso’s Garage has a background in illustration and fine art and is classically trained in graphic design from OCAD University in Toronto. A graphic designer by trade, Claire has designed logos, identities, collateral, websites and branding for myriad corporate clients. She’s been teaching art classes in her Davisville Village studio since 2005.


This year, Claire will be working on her thesis to complete her graduate degree in art therapy from The Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI), an intensive two-year program. She’ll launch her private practice in January 2017. She has combined her passions for art and psychotherapy. Starting in January 2017, Claire will offer individual and group art therapy sessions to help improve children's emotional, behavioural and mental well-being. Combining traditional psychodynamic theory with expressive arts therapy using paint, pastels, markers and sculpture, Claire will help improve resiliency in children of divorce, and provide coping skills for children with anxiety and those facing the challenges of ADHD. “Through my internship at the Children’s Mental Health Agency, I’ve been fortunate to be able to put theory into action with inspiring results in behavioural, cognitive and trauma-related cases,” says Claire.


Picasso’s Garage is committed to supporting the community and providing a fulfilling summer camp experience for children who may otherwise go without. Claire’s No Paint Down the Drain Campaign raises enough funds to send children to art camp. Originally conceived as a way to avoid discarding leftover paint, art students create a shared canvas that is later sold to raise money. Each canvas is inspired by a well-known artist, and the results have been outstanding. This year’s proceeds are sending three deserving kids to art camp.

For more information, contact Claire Nicholls at 647-272-0885, claire@picassosgarage.com or PicassosGarage.com.

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