Gorilla Art Studio Celebrates Grand Opening

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The newest creative art space in Burbank, Gorilla Art Studio, celebrated a grand opening with the public on Saturday, August 15. Approximately 100 children and adults stopped by the studio to check out the classes, materials and meet the teachers.

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Gorilla Art Studio‘s mission is to “fuel creativity, ignite imaginations and illuminate possibilities,” according to studio owner Tiffany Bakas.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“After volunteering with my kids’ school for years, I saw the need for art enrichment,” explained Bakas, who, along with her husband, grew up in Burbank and are raising two boys in the city. “So I started my company about a year and half ago. I basically go into schools after school is over and teach art. I started with one school and now I have several.”

“The business grew so much I needed space to house everything and thought – why not open a studio and serve more people!?” she added.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Two favorite projects Bakas has taught in the after school arts classes are a mixed media lion inspired by Henri Matisse/collage art and Picasso-inspired self-portraits. Gorilla Art teachers talked about the topic artist and connected their works to the lesson.

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Mixed media lion elementary school project inspired by Henri Matisse collage art. (Photo Courtesy of Gorilla Art Studio)
Mixed media lion elementary school project inspired by Henri Matisse collage art. (Photo Courtesy of Gorilla Art Studio)

“We challenged the kids to look at themselves in a different way, in an ‘abstract way’ and then we let their creativity soar,” she explained.

In addition to after school art classes at several sites in Burbank, Gorilla Art Studio holds workshops, paint parties and specialized classes.

The studio also offers Creation Stations for the younger set during specific hours. Creation Stations cost $12 per hour and several tables with a variety of materials and projects are set up throughout the studio.

Traci Wargo-Lehman has attended the monthly paint night parties at DeBell Golf Club regularly since October 2014.

“After that first class I was hooked! This is really a creative outlet for me, I am not artistic at all!” commented Wargo-Lehman. “Tiffany and her team provide step by step instructions that are easy to follow. She is an exceptional teacher and is enthusiastic about what techniques she teaches.”

“Essentially, we all paint the same but everyone’s canvas is so unique,” she added. “I appreciate looking at other people’s canvases and seeing the what made their paintings unique!”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Wargo-Lehman says she looks forward to the monthly Friday night paint party at DeBell’s The Canyon Grill. It’s “a chance for me to take in the view of the golf course – yes, we have seen deer- and enjoy the food.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“What started as a date night with my husband back in October has now turned into a night out with the girls or with my mom,” she also said.

“Nothing is more relaxing than seeing a blank canvas in front of you transform into a piece that is worthy of being hung in a house.”

Class, workshop and paint party information and prices can be found on the Gorilla Art Studio website. The studio is located at 1719 W. Verdugo Avenue, near John Burroughs High School.

“I’m excited to be able to share a love of arts and crafts with both adults and children,” said Bakas, as she noted Gorilla Art now provides art after-school enrichment to eight elementary schools in Burbank.

“Children are given freedom to think outside the box and tap into their creative side.”

“At our studio we able to provide adults and children with classes,  painting parties and craft time,” she added. “One is never too old to experience new skills. I am happy to help people of all ages discover and appreciate their creativity.”


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