Keeping budding artists busy and engaged during COVID

Six-year-old Layla (family name withheld by request) thoroughly enjoyed her session with local artist Alexandre Aimée of Studio d’Art in Sturgeon Falls this past weekend. The studio offers both online and in-person instruction and is proving to be a lifesaver for parents and grandparents who are looking for winter activities for children during COVID restrictions.

In times of COVID parents are finding it a puzzle to discover suitable fun-filled activities for children while maintaining the distancing conditions required during a pandemic. School is on-again off-again, team sports aren’t happening, special events are cancelled, things like snow sculpture contests, toboggan and skating parties, winter carnivals, all the traditional get-togethers are up in the air. Studio d’Art is a refreshing piece of that puzzle some parents and grandparents have opted to explore, and it’s proven to not only be a wonderfully entertaining opportunity for everyone involved, but one of those gifts that opens further opportunities for personal exploration. Alexandre Aimée and Cole Baker are the wife/husband team of artists who own and operate Studio d’Art in downtown Sturgeon Falls at 58 Queen Street. This past weekend, as usual, they engaged with adults and children, in person and online. 

Alexandre Aimée’s latest young creative, six-year-old Layla, who was visiting her grandparents in Sturgeon Falls, loved the experience. Her session was in-shop. “Basically, we are open in-person with very strict social distancing measures, and we wear masks. We are also open for virtual individual and group classes,” says Alexandre Aimée. “We’re just trying to figure out ways to keep going and being resilient in these times. The nature of what we do is along the lines of art as therapy, so it is important to not completely abandon our business, and to adapt.” 

The business is streamlined to anyone of any age to begin to enjoy their own forays into creativity. “What is really cool is that we have an option to send you the supplies you need. So, we have people who are attending weekly classes, we meet once a week via Zoom, and they have all the supplies they need for a couple of projects in that session, all from the comfort of their own homes. It gives a sense of something to do, a bit of stability, and pride in accomplishing art pieces.”

The children gravitate towards Alexandre Aimée, and she has the knack for opening those creative impulses within youth of all ages. “We do offer adult classes but most of our participants now, during COVID, especially now that [there are so many restrictions] – we have a lot of kids under 12 years old; especially little creatives who are stuck at home. Maybe mom and dad are working, so they need an hour break [when they are at home] – it’s a win/win for the entire family. And we also have people who do it together as a family, weekly. It’s really dependant on the person. We develop all our programs for the individual – we’re very flexible,” she says. 

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