4Cats: Picasso in PoCo

Painting with Water Colours - 4Cats Arts Studio Port Coquitlam

The line up and crowd was so big an hour before the grand opening celebration event that the new Port Coquitlam location of 4Cats Arts Studio actually had to open early. We arrived shortly after the planned 1:00pm opening to find the Tri-Cities newest 4Cats location packed with families and spilling out into the streets.

4Cats Arts Studio Port Coquitlam

4Cats Arts Studio Port Coquitlam

The original 4Cats Arts Studio, named for the 4Cats Cafe in Spain (Els Quatre Gats) where Pablo Picasso met with his peers to discuss and share art, is borne of an inspiring story. Founded in 1998 by Joey Simon as a strategy to help her son Jet, 4Cats has evolved into an international phenomenon. Simon was told Jet would likely develop learning disabilities after he was born prematurely so she undertook training in Montessori schooling techniques and, as she and her husband Darryl were both artists, they shared their love of art with Jet. Soon other parents were asking her to share art with their children. From Joey Simon’s basement to locations all over North America and into Australia, 4Cats has continued to grow.

Trying the Pottery Wheel at 4Cats Arts Studio

Trying the Pottery Wheel

In Port Coquitlam, 4Cats has just been opened by Lisa and Marnie, cousins with deep roots in the community, their family has been in the area for about 60 years, and a love for kids and art. To open a 4Cats franchise requires a deep commitment as Marnie and Lisa were required to visit established 4Cats locations for training in art techniques as well as the business side of the franchise.

The Splatter Room - 4Cats Arts Studio Port Coquitlam

The Splatter Room!

4Cats offers classes for kids and adults as well as classes for parents to participate with their kids. A whole range of art techniques are available to try including painting, sketching, mixed media, silk screens, etc. and 4Cats offers camps over Spring Break, special classes on professional development days and evening classes too. As a PoCo parent I can also see that birthday parties will be popular at 4Cats. My kids (ages two and five) both enjoyed participating in the activities at the open house including the ‘splatter room’ and the spin art station. There are brochures and schedules available online (www.4cats.com) as well as at the store, and Lisa and Marnie are a wealth of information.

The Splatter Room - 4Cats Arts Studio Port Coquitlam

Painting in the Splatter Room

In talking to Lisa and Marnie about the 4Cats Arts Studio in PoCo it becomes clear that they are excited about the opportunities afforded by the new studio on Shaughnessy Street and if the grand opening is any indication, the community is pretty excited too.

4Cats Arts Studio

#155-2627 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam

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