Family-owned art business aims to reach children, parents

Sisters-in-law Helen Riera and Madelyn Riera recently opened a new art school, Children's Art Factory, in Olde Town Conyers.

Sisters-in-law Helen Riera and Madelyn Riera recently opened a new art school, Children's Art Factory, in Olde Town Conyers.

CONYERS -- For those who have a yearning to get their creative juices flowing and include their youngsters in the process, the Children's Art Factory in Olde Town Conyers is the place to visit.

Co-owners Helen Riera and Madelyn Riera have merged their business acumen -- one with a background of working with children, the other with a degree in fine arts -- to create a place where parents and their children can work on art projects together.

We're actually taking a big city idea and bringing it to Conyers, said Helen Riera recently, adding that her sister-in-law Madelyn worked at a similar business in their hometown of New York. She enjoyed it so much and we thought we'd introduce it here.

The Children's Art Factory, located at 939 Bank St. behind the BB&T Bank, offers several types of programs.

Parents can come in on a walk-in basis with their children. We provide any kind of art supplies and ideas for projects for parents to do with their children, Riera explained.

Depending on their age range, they might decide to paint, draw, create puppets or make picture frames. That's from the ideas that we give the students. Or, they can come up with their own ideas and we'll help with that.

Riera said recently a child came in and wanted to make a birthday present for his mom and they helped him create the perfect gift.

That sort of service is called Open Art and the fee is $7 per person.

Also, art classes just for children are available through the Children's Art Factory and the art work in those classes is more detailed. Riera said students range from age 4 to 13.

The premise for those classes is usually inspired by a famous artist which the students are encouraged to emulate and learn about.

We try to get famous artist-inspired pieces and have the kids recreate them with their own twist, Riera said.

For instance, a recent class studied some of the abstract faces created by Pablo Picasso. They took reproductions of those faces, cut them in pieces and created new faces of their own making.

The children really enjoyed that and created their own little gallery from the faces. That was a class of 7- and 9-year-olds, she said.

A younger group recently tried to recreate one of Monet's nature pieces.

The cost for the classes is $50 per month and they consist of either two one-hour classes during the week or a two-hour class on Saturday mornings.

Also offered are parent's night out classes which are $15 per child which usually last for about three hours and are scheduled for every other Friday of the month.

Another popular offering is birthday parties.

We provide everything but the children and the cake, Riera said, adding that included in the party package are goodie bags, decorations, crafts for everyone and food.

For more information about the Children's Art Factory, call 678-667-2787 or visit their website at www.childrensartfactory.com.