CT Checkup: Clinton art gallery sells affordable ‘Art Bags’ to keep kids creative, entertained during quarantine


CLINTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Clinton art gallery owner is selling affordable art supply kits to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and keep kids busy while they and their parents are stuck at home.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Cindy Stevens was forced to close her Clinton art gallery and cancel all of her classes, but she was determined to keep the creativity alive for local children.  

“I decided to put a sketchbook we make and some art supplies in a bag and I thought I’ll sell them for $5 and make it accessible for parents,” she explained. 

Stevens typically offers two of these ‘Art Bags’ a month, each with a different theme. 

In each bag are two projects, a set of instructions, and all of the materials necessary to make a masterpiece. 

Stevens told News 8: “It’s not about perfection, it’s about fun and enjoying art.” 

This week’s theme is “Frogs and Dragonflies” and each bag is complete with everything needed to create two unique watercolor designs. 

“I wanted them to have fun,” said Stevens of the kids who use her bags. “Calm their brain and help mom because they could be doing a bag and mom could have a break for half an hour or so.”

And her idea became a hit among parents looking to keep their kids engaged while spending much more time at home. 

So far, she’s sold close to 900 bags. 

Kate Scharf travels from Guilford every other week to pick up projects for her two young boys at home.

“It’s an opportunity for them to just do their own thing and have a great product at the end that they’re proud of,” she said. 

Scharf’s 7-year-old son, Connor, agrees and says his favorite part is “that they are fun and that you can make them any way you want,” 

Stevens has now raised the price of her bags to $10 to keep her studio afloat and those interested in ordering can visit her website or Facebook page

She says that being able to keep her business alive while using her passion to get people through these difficult times is keeping her motivated. 

“I’m happy it’s working. I’m happy we’re still here,” she told News 8. “I love my job and being here so I was determined to make this work.”

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