Preschoolers, paint and kitchen utensils. To parents this scene can mean only two things: Cleanup and bath time. But at Jellybeanstreet Pittsburgh, it means art.
Jellybeanstreet Pittsburgh, run by Jennifer Erfley, Pat Haven Drive, is a new Mt. Lebanon business creating art out of children’s paintings. Erfley is licensing the business, originally based in Australia, and runs one of only a few United States locations.
Kids, in a pre-kindergarten group (ages 1 to 4) or a school age group (ages 5 to 10), paint for around an hour, using their fingers and tools, like Legos, salad spinners and other kitchen utensils. “If I see something that will make a cool design on the papers, I pick it up,” Erfley says. Erfley then photographs the paintings and sends them to a graphic designer, who works to create a cohesive color scheme throughout the painting, but does not change any of the child’s original designs.
Once parents choose a design from the graphic designer, the paintings are posted on www.usa.jellybeanstreet.com. Anyone can then purchase a canvas version of the painting from the website. “It takes it from refrigerator art to something that can hang on the walls,” Erfley says.
Parents have another role in the process as well—choosing a charity. When the painting is posted on the website, up to 60 percent of the proceeds from that painting go to a charity of the parents’ choice.
Erfley says that watching her two children, Zoe, 9, and Bella, 4, paint inspired her to open a branch of Jellybeanstreet in Pittsburgh. “I have two kids obsessed with painting. They are all about anything artistic and crafty,” Erfley says. “I thought if I would do it with my kids, then others would do it as well. And, Pittsburgh is a very artsy city.”
For now, Erfley is using different venues, like craft stores and play spaces, to hold the workshops. She eventually wants to set a permanent location.
Registering for a session costs $30. To learn more about Jellybeanstreet and register, go to their Facebook page.