Thousand Oaks Art Studio Is Going to Turn Your Kid into the Next Basquiat

If parents thought they had to drive to L.A. in order to expose their children to a “good” art program, they will want to consider a surprising resource in the heart of suburbia. The Arterie, directed by Cara Franke, specializes in process-oriented art where during each class, kids work with new mediums—learning the styles and techniques of the world’s greatest artists.

On any given day, the Kindergarten crowd will be manipulating clay into a chic dish soon to be fired at the kiln, elementary students will be drawing their version of their family portrait, tweens will be painting a still life in split complementary colors, teenagers will be piecing together bigger-than-life collages, while the adult class will be practicing abstract expressionism painting landscapes in the style of Diebenkorn. In a nutshell, your 4-year-old is going to bust out Modigliani portraits on the first day. Kids are coming home with work that parents can’t wait to hang on their walls!

This cozy, colorful studio has artwork everywhere: life-size cityscapes, fiber art wall hangings, vertical succulent gardens, and most importantly – kids in paint-splattered men’s dress shirt smocks that hang below their knees, taking in all that inspiration and busily creating their own masterpiece. Kids work at circular tables reminiscent of a color wheel while Owner Cara Franke guides them.

The Arterie holds multiple classes per week broken down into the following age groups: 4-6, 7-9, 8-12, 11-13, older teens, and adults. They are currently hosting summer camps in four-day blocks, now through August, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The studio also hosts birthday parties, where children complete projects chosen by the birthday kid, reflecting their favorite interest of the moment.

“My studio is supportive and relaxed, and judgment free,” says Cara. “There’s no such thing as perfection. Children are experimental by nature; they can’t wait to get their hands on all the mediums and create. This studio is where their creativity is ignited and nurtured.”

About The Arterie
Located in Thousand Oaks, and convenient to Agoura, Calabasas, Malibu and Ventura County, The Arterie is a process-meets-product studio, across the street from the Civic Arts Plaza. Owner and Studio Director Cara Franke encourages students to express themselves freely though visual art while helping them develop their fine art skills through various mediums and techniques. They teach the fundamentals of drawing and painting, foster art appreciation and allow for creative expression. They work from a global approach, seeing the world around them and applying this experience to their work. Classes are taught by age rather than skill level so each child reaches their full potential.
2219 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, # 105, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

About Cara
Cara Franke started her career at the Getty Museum before moving onto to what she really loved: teaching art to children. Her passion began during an internship at an elementary school in Santa Cruz while attending college at a time when all schools had lost art funding. With rudimentary materials and a bunch of first graders, she found her true calling: instilling a life-long love of art in children. She went on to spend 13 years working at progressive schools – both private and public – across L.A.’s Westside teaching art and developing curriculum before moving to the Conejo Valley and opening The Arterie in 2013. Cara is formally trained in watercolor painting, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Art Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz and completed her graduate work in Art Education and Fine Arts at CSUN.
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