ArtBites teaches kids creativity through art and food


Rona Hutchison, left, and Allie Fincher say they are excited for the kickoff of their new ArtBites series.

Uptown Art Studio and Sprouts Cooking are teaming up to give local kids a creative experience using two sure ways to a child’s heart — vibrant paints and yummy food.

Each weekend in June, a new program called ArtBites will be held at Uptown Art, located at 2 Cherokee Blvd., Suite 100. The event allows kids ages 5-12 to learn about different cultures through painting and cooking.

Participants will start off with an hour of painting led by Uptown Art owners Rona Hutchison and Kasie Lindley, who will also teach about an artist or culture related to the assigned painting. Then, the kids will move on to cooking with Sprouts, a locally based mobile kitchen focused on working with children.

“It’s fun and it’s creative,” Sprouts owner Allie Fincher said of ArtBites. “It’s so hands-on and I think it will be really exciting. They’ll leave with full tummies and a piece of art.”

Fincher and Hutchison originally met while working in a traditional office setting. As they both branched off to open creative businesses, the idea for ArtBites continued to develop.

“The education factor is so important to us,” said Fincher, explaining that cooking allows kids to practice math, reading comprehension, history, culture and more. “I want kids to understand the importance of healthy, nutritious eating, and what better way to do that than to teach them how to cook?”

She added that she puts an emphasis on cooking safety, and the recipes are flexible to allow for children with dietary restrictions.

Depending on how well ArtBites does in June, the program is something the duo hopes to continue, said Hutchison.

The classes are being held June 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. To find out more and register a child for any or all of the classes, visit sproutscooking.com or uptownart.com/Chattanooga.