Create Your Summer at the Art Factory

Art Factory, Aptos
Calling all young artists!

Kids ages 4-12 can enjoy their summer painting, sculpting, collaging, and making new friends at The Art Factory in Aptos.

Home to some of the best art classes in the county, The Art Factory offers a variety of summer day camps Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm.

Each week features a unique theme, with separate classes for preschool and elementary age kids.  This year’s themes include birds, sea creatures, sewing, painting and printmaking, crafts, and more. Kids learn new skills in a safe, non-competitive environment.

The Art Factory also dedicates a week of camp specifically for kids interested in entering the Santa Cruz County Fair.  Kids can choose from a variety of media to create a dynamic and personally meaningful art piece.  For a small fee, the teaching staff frames, prepares, and hand delivers the pieces to the county fair. Think how proud your little artists will be when they see their artwork displayed at this community event.

Yvette Contois, the founder and head teacher of The Art Factory, has been teaching art to children and adults for over twenty years.  In addition, she teaches art at Santa Cruz Montessori and works as a graphic designer and technical illustrator.  Her art has gained both local and national recognition.  With the belief that all students can learn to draw and paint, she designed the Art Factory as a place for children to discover and express their creative talents.  In addition to summer camps, The Art Factory offers pre-K classes, art and science classes for homeschoolers, and ‘girls night out’ art classes for women.

Located just off the Rio Del Mar exit, the studio itself is small and cozy, originally one of several cabins built for vacationers. In 1974, the cabins were turned into a community of small businesses aptly named, the Redwood Village.  The Art Factory is nestled in the back of the center, away from the bustling traffic of neighboring businesses.

A Day at the Art Factory

As soon as all the kids arrive, they gather in the main room for a brief introduction to the studio.  Each new week begins with engaging presentations about each subject.  Animal themed weeks begin with short lessons about each creature, during which kids write down facts about the animals, in hand-made books.  Next, kids get started on the day’s project.

When it’s time for a break, kids enjoy lunch on the porch shaded by redwoods or on the historic covered bridge.  In the afternoon, campers have time for a quick snack of air popped popcorn, a camp favorite.  After the break, the younger campers are encouraged to explore the area on teacher-led nature walks, where they collect fallen leaves, petals, and other interesting finds to make nature inspired bookmarks.   The kids are reminded to take only one leaf or petal from each area, so the ecosystem remains undisturbed.

Eco-Friendly Environment

Plastic Bottle Flowers

Plastic Water Bottle Art

In a city that takes pride in environmental activism, The Art Factory rivals other studios with its commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Responsible use of materials is an integral part of each lesson.  Recycling is a must and kids are encouraged to find creative ways to ensure no paint or paper is wasted. A classic camp project involves creating beautiful flowers out of plastic water bottles.  The kids love the process of transforming their empty bottles into art pieces.   They develop an appreciation for reusing materials in creative ways.

To learn more about The Art Factory or to view this summer’s camp schedule please visit  Call the number on the website or stop by the studio during the day to inquire about the many camp options.  While returning campers often sign up for multiple weeks, new campers are also able to drop-in for just one day of camp, as space allows.

One thing is for sure, there are countless ways to create and enjoy your summer at The Art Factory.

The Art Factory
9099 Soquel Drive #15
Aptos, CA 9503
(831) 688-8862

About Lindsay Shaffer

Lindsay Shaffer is a writer, teacher, and peak performance coach. She is also a former technology-phobe turned blogger. When she is not blogging or doing research, she still happily avoids all use of technology and heads for the outdoors.