New children’s process art and play studio explores creativity

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:07 PM EST
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Parents imagine a place where kids making a mess is okay.

There’s new creative space called The Art Factory in Giles County. It is a process-based art and play studio for kids inside The Newport Community Center at The Art Factory.

“I mean, what mom doesn’t walk in and see their kids, like, marking on the baby with Sharpies or whatever, you know --- that’s just something that kids are interested in that they want to do,” said April Seiple, owner and operator of The Art Factory.

April is a mom with more that 20 years experience in education. She learned playing, making a mess and creating can help kids in many ways.

The factory uses a form called process art, which is an open-ended exploration of materials and media with an emphasis on the process. April says art is about the ‘making’ and the ‘doing’ rather than the finished product.

Children learn through discovery and experimentation, and making a mess can help develop their sensory skills.

“As a mother and a teacher, I was always looking out for something like this and I never could find anything exactly like I wanted,” said Seiple.

Her family created The Art Factory for young children, as a place for open-ended exploration and creative experiences --- all while being socially distant.

“They can take risks. They experiment and learn and make messes and when they do that, they are benefiting not only their social emotional connection; they are benefiting their physical connection and their cognitive connection too.”

Educators says all these skills are activated while playing, and are vital in early and middle childhood development.

April hopes to expand and start a summer program, so the messes and playing can continue.

The studio offers playgroups, workshops and birthday parties designed to encourage creativity and inspire babies, toddlers and preschoolers to use their imagination.

The space officially opens March 17, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required, and you can do that by visiting

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