Neighborhood Art Center to host grand re-opening in celebration of expansion

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Areas like the paint room at the Neighborhood Art Center allow children to paint anywhere — on paper, on the walls or on the floor — creating a space where children can be artists without fear of making a mess. Neighborhood Art Center is celebrating a new expansion with a free grand re-opening celebration this Friday, Dec. 10, from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at Provo Towne Centre. (Photo courtesy of Tallia Feltis)

Neighborhood Art Center is celebrating a new expansion with a free grand re-opening celebration this Friday, Dec. 10, from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at Provo Towne Centre.

Neighborhood Art Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Provo Towne Centre.Neighborhood Art Center has been providing the community with a space for children to engage with a wide variety of hands-on art activities since its initial conception in March 2017. According to its founder and executive director Tallia Feltis, the grand re-opening will take place in celebration of the expansion of Neighborhood Art Center into a larger area.

“We just expanded into the space next to us and it has more than doubled our size,” Feltis said. “It’s really going to change the things that we are able to do. We will have a classroom. In the front, we’ll be adding an art supply thrift store and just have way more space to have activities.”

Feltis also said the center wanted to make additions to the available art activities, including adding more resources for ceramics and printmaking. Currently, the center attendees will have access to a wide variety of creative activities and spaces, from a paint room, to screen printing and to an art library, according to Feltis. 

A child works in the “workshop space.” This area is supplied with a variety of tools and supplies that allow children to build, experiment and create. (Photo courtesy of Tallia Feltis)

For Feltis, Neighborhood Art Center is her answer to a need she saw in the Provo community. “I have just always really loved creative spaces for kids,” she said. “When I was little, and then when my kids were little, I loved taking them to places where they could be creative and explore. I noticed that there weren’t really any places like that here in Provo.”

The center provides a calendar of events and classes, as well as walk-in time on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for the center is $5 for kids and $3 for adults. In the center, children are given the freedom to express themselves without fear of creating messes.

“I believe that kids are natural-born creators and artists, that their need to create is innate,” Feltis said. “When kids get older, they can sometimes get shy about creating art — we try to foster art as something that is about trying and having fun.”

A child uses a screen printing frame to create a piece of art. Screen printing is just one of the many resources available to visitors of the Neighborhood Art Center. (Photo courtesy of Tallia Feltis)

Emily Bade, a Neighborhood Art Center board member, also believes in the importance of allowing children a space to be artists. “I love that (this space) is not a craft center — it’s not a space where kids will go and create an exact replica of a model, it’s a space for them to go and explore and make whatever they want,” Bade said. 

Bade said she wished a space like Neighborhood Art Center had existed when she was little. “I really became excited about the idea of a community center for kids where they can go and be messier than they could be at home, and learn about art.”

For Keera McClellan, Neighborhood Art Center board president, the upcoming grand re-opening celebration is a chance to share the resources and excitement of the center with even more parents and children. “I’m just excited for people to see what we have to offer. I’m really excited to bring people in to show them ‘this is what we do.'”

Neighborhood Art Center’s website provides more information about the re-opening celebration on Dec. 10 and other events and programs.

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