Smudge is an award winning art school offering classes, parties, workshops and camps to artists aged two years and up, and even Open Studio time to artists of all ages. Our classes are intimate with some classes having a maximum of only four artists, which means lots of one-on-one attention for you or your artist.
Smudge was opened in January 2014 after months of planning and conception by owner and operator, Paije Ottoson. Paije is a local resident who graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management and a Bachelor of Education. After years of teaching Art in the public school system, and more years delving into her love of business as a commercial lender, Paije set out to open a space where anyone could just come and create. Smudge is not a franchise. It was personally conceived out of a passion to share a love of art (just click on the video below to learn more). Since opening in January of 2014 we have won the 2014 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDC Business of the Year Award in New Venture/New Business, 2015 Best of the Best in Best Place to Take the Kids, 2015 Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge in the General Stream category (and that was just in the first 18 months of being open!) and 2017 Best of the Best Place to Take the Kids (although we know Smudge isn't just for kids!). Smudge truly is the best place to get a little messy and have a lot of fun!
At Smudge, we believe that everyone is an artist. We don't want you to worry you've never picked up a brush or sculpted a figure - we just want you to create and we are here to help you do just that. And better yet, we take care of all of the details. There is no need to worry if you've bought the right paint or have the right brush because we supply you with all of the art materials you will need to create some amazing art! We believe you deserve a quality art education in delivery, materials and atmosphere, and we provide you with all of that.
All classes, workshops, parties and camps require registration as we personally hand prep all materials and design each lesson plan. Drop-In times to paint your own canvas or ceramics piece are available under what we call "Open Studio" and change weekly depending on what classes and such we have going on. Think of it as a pool - you register for swim lessons, and drop in during Open Swim time.
Hope to create with you soon!
The Rest of Our Team
Paije could not do this by herself - that's why she's chosen only the most creative and knowledgeable people to be a part of the Smudge family!
Cj is not only an active artist, but she also graduated from Lethbridge College from the Communication Arts Program. Cj first walked into our studio when Smudge was still just brand new, and instantly fell in love. From first volunteering at the studio (anything to get her hands a little messy!), to becoming an official Smudge Assistant, to now instructing and developing all sorts of classes and parties, she has truly been a creative asset to our team. Cj's belief is that we are all innately creative beings and she hopes to help awaken the sleeping artists within you.
Taylor graduated from the University of Lethbridge with her Bachelor of Fine Arts (yes ... a higher education in studio arts - perfect for Smudge!). Taylor first joined Smudge as an assistant about a year after Smudge opened, and now she is instructing many of Smudge's adult and young artists classes. If you gave her a day to just create, you would find her creating something super messy with her hands literally covered in multitude of colours (trust me - we've seen it!). She has always been a creative soul and says she would have killed for something like Smudge when she was younger! Taylor has always been a creative soul and says she would have killed for Smudge when she was younger (me too!).
Janessa first learned about Smudge when she was a young artist in their Michelangelos class during our first year of operations. Three years later, Janessa was excited to become an Assistant at Smudge. When she's not in school and participating in super creative activities (such as Art Class, Drama, Band and even stage-managing Musicals), she helps us out with anything that we may need. We couldn't be happier to have a young and talented artist on our team!
Words from our Artists
Ainsleigh: Smudge is amazing! I took my two year old niece here for some Open Studio. She painted a canvas - this was her birthday gift from me. Paije is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about this wonderful business she has created. My niece wasn't exactly quiet and Paije was extremely reassuring about it. She definitely assisted with making it an age appropriate activity by giving us colours that wouldn't turn to brown once they were all mixed. I absolutely loved it and hopefully I can take my nieces and nephews back there - I think I had just as much fun as the child did! Also, extremely reasonable prices and just pure enjoyment for us.
Jenn: Paije is fantastic and really cares about the kids! My daughter loves her art classes and counts down the days 'til the next one. Check out the classes or Open Studio. You will love it!
David: Our work retreat at Smudge as fantastic! A great concept and so much fun - highly recommended!
Ashley: Always have a great time with or without the kids! Such a great place for all ages.
Monica: My daughters and I attended the Eiffel Tower painting class this past week. It was terrific! Paije had everything ready and walked us through step by step. She was patient and allowed us the freedom to express our own creativity. The class was relaxing and very enjoyable. We highly recommend Smudge Art Studio!
Talayna: My husband and I had so much fun at Smudge for a date night! Something totally different for a date night, and it was so fun to paint together. Paije is awesome at what she does!
Courtney: My daughter and I love this place. Paije is the best teacher. We always have so much fun.
Ashley Marie: We just had my daughter's 7th birthday at Smudge - what an AWESOME afternoon!!! Kids had a blast!! I DEFINITELY recommend it! Thank you for the unforgettable party!
Angela: We love Smudge! Paije has been so wonderful and welcoming to our family - classes, workshops and parties, we love them all!