Smartypants Art Studio

tel: (209) 604-5780

 about the studio 

The original Smartypants started back in 2010 in a tiny home studio when its founder, Dawn Bankson, had an idea of creating a unique place where children could learn about the visual arts.  With her background in Early Childhood Education and love for the arts,  she was able to create lessons that not only taught art but encouraged the social, intellectual, and emotional growth of her students. 

In January of 2019, Dawn decided to move the studio to Downtown Merced.  The new  studio was a brightly lit and safe space where children learn to explore art, create, and express themselves.  Each child is given the opportunity to take part in socialization through fun activities where they make friends and lasting memories. 

In addition to the children's classes offered at Smartypants it also offered adult workshops.  This was an opportunity for the grown-ups to learn new techniques and at the same time, have a fun night out with friends.  Whether it was learning to weave or creating a Fall decoration for your home, evening classes at the studio were always fun.

In March of 2020, with the onset of the Covid 19 virus, Dawn made the difficult decision to close the physical studio in Merced temporarily.  In the meantime, Smartypants continues in a new form.  All the fun art experiences are now available to anyone, even if you don't live near the studio.  Dawn introduces AT HOME ART KITS!  

Dawn is looking forward to reopen when things return to normal, but until then take a look at Smartypants online store for some amazing kits!

 about the instructor 

Dawn Bankson has been teaching art for over 20 years.  She has taught in private and public schools and has been running her own Children's Art studio for 9 years. 

As well as running the studio, Dawn is a mother to 2 adult children.  In her spare time Dawn loves to travel with her husband, spend time in her garden, and loves cooking for family and friends. 


Have any questions or just want to say hello?

 about the photographer & website designer 

Sara Theodozio is a fourth year Ag Business student attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  Her passion for photography began in the beginning of her college career, where she would take fun photos of her friends, family, and her college town of San Luis Obispo.  Now, it has evolved into a full time position as the head photographer for the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences Deans Office.

Sara has been home for the summer helping redesign this website and take photos of several classes.  As her school year begins she will be in Merced less,  but still try to photograph as many sessions as she can when she comes home for breaks.

Sara loves photography and designing websites.  If you ever need a redesigned website or family photos, she's the one to call!

Feel free to view more of her work or contact her here:

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