The Rare Hare Studio offers art classes to children ages preschool through 8th grade, introducing a wide variety of materials and techniques.Students are encouraged to explore supplies and tools freely, as well as to participate in guided lessons.Basic artistic elements such as line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as well as design concepts, are discussed and practiced at appropriate grade levels.Study of these elements is further enhanced by an emphasis upon the use of patterns and rhythm in art.Taking note of patterns in the environment around us and how they can be interrelated is an integral part of this process.
To achieve these goals, classes often use exercises that emphasize and emulate the styles of individual artists and artistic movements throughout history; although we feel historical artists have something to each us, we by no means use strict interpretation of historical artists, but rather discovery in theme and media. Classes also feature indigenous crafts and multicultural activities as appropriate. Classes support the importance of learning about art tools and techniques through demonstration and exploration, often having open ended and varied results driven by student ingenuity. Self expression and the development of a unique “artist vision” is encouraged and revered in each individual student.
An important and special feature of the Rare Hare Studio is the integration of recycled items into the creative process whenever possible.Rare Hare F.A.I.R (Fostering Artistic Ingenuity with Recycling) courses increase environmental awareness by turning normally discarded items that impact San Diego landfills into functional and creative projects.In doing so, children gain an awareness of how their own ability to express themselves can be interconnected with their community and can impact the larger world around them.
The Rare Hare Studio offers parent/child participation in both Family Art Classes and Community Classes.Family Art Classes offer an opportunity for the parent, grandparent, aunt or sibling and child to work together in a creative and fun learning environment.Community Classes include school classroom field trips, home school groups, youth groups (e.g., Girl Scouts), and other school and recreational groups, all of which are welcome to schedule courses in advance. We can also arrange off-site visits to schools and community events.
Another special feature of Rare Hare Studio is tailor made Birthday Parties. Special art projects engage party guests and relate to an over all party theme. For more information see our Birthday Parties Page.
Courses are scheduled as individual, free-standing classes, or as extended courses in a series or camp format.During the school year, courses are taught in the afternoon as an after school alternative, on weekends, and during school hours in order to accommodate school field trips, home school groups, etc.Extended courses are taught in the summer months and organized as art camps, as well as during school breaks, such as winter and spring breaks.Extended courses can be arranged in advance to accommodate the different schedules of varying schools and districts.
The Rare Hare Studio graciously accepts donations, especially clean recycled items and other art supplies.See our donations list located on our F.A.I.R page or call for more information regarding what items are needed, as well as drop-off or pick-up availability.
Erin Pennell, Creator/Director:
Erin Pennell, creator of The Rare Hare Studio, offers over 20 years of experience as an art facilitator, teacher, and program supervisor in both public and private settings. In its 5th year, Rare Hare Studio has become a pioneer in childrens’ art instruction and the use of recycled materials in the art process. Erin began her career in San Diego Outdoor Education, teaching combined art and nature courses in summer camps at Camp Cuyamaca. After studying early childhood education and art, earning a degree in Humanities, and being trained in Montessori methods, Erin spent five years supervising and coordinating a K-8 child development program in San Francisco’s Mission District, teaching art and developing curriculum for at-risk public school children.
After moving back to her native San Diego, Erin implemented a First Five of California school readiness program for families in need in the Chula Vista area. Using her talents as a Montessori preschool teacher and artist, Erin created unique curriculum to assist young children with the skills needed for school. She then taught art in both public and private schools in San Diego. This led to her collaboration with several other organizations and events, including the San Diego Sculpture Show where her students created art with recycled materials, the Mingei Museum and ArtWalk, Pacific Children’s Theater, and The Art Miles Mural Project. Erin enjoys spreading the word about recycling arts by providing arts and crafts at community events such as ArtWalk , The North Park Arts Festival, and The Adams Avenue Street Fair. She has worked to bring children’s art work into public display, such as work on the recent San Diego Federal Courthouse Construction Fence, where Erin’s students portrayed their visions of the future of San Diego. Currently, Erin teaches art at Museum School, a public charter school in San Diego, as well as many other schools and settings around San Diego County.
Seeing the need for creative re-use education to be shared by a wider audience, Erin has recently founded Art FORM (Found Objects Recycled Materials), a nonprofit, 501c3 tax exempt organization. The mission of Art FORM is to facilitate a broader engagement with recycling arts in San Diego by providing no cost/low cost workshops and accessibility of materials for public school students and teachers, as well as the larger San Diego community. As Art FORM fundraises and builds it programs, Rare Hare is sharing it’s space temporarily until Art FORM can find a more permanent home.
When not facilitating art with others, Erin’s own art process includes professional photography, water color, collage, and sculpture. As a parent and teacher, Erin strives at all times to provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for children of all ages.