The Art TruckTM
Mobilizing Creativity

About The Art Truck

Contact an Art-tender now! (860) 805-7471
The Art Truck: Mobilizing Creativity 
Connecticut’s only mobile art studio puts the “art” in party. The Art Truck delivers fun, educational birthday parties and events to your home, school or office. An inspiring menu of unique projects offers creative experiences for all ages, while “art-tenders” make party planning and management a breeze. Gift bags, invitations, snack packs and full party services are available to turn any party into a work of art. 

Looking to host an art party for your petite picasso? Well, The Art Truck provides party perfection, a mobile art studio! That’s right we said mobile. So the kids can create and you can rest easy that they’ll be no mess to clean! Pick from a variety of theme ideas including; robot party, masquerade party, fairytale party, jewelry bling party and more!


Our Story
I’m Maura O’Shea, and this is our Story….

In 2010, after working for 18 years as an arts educator and administrator, I left my position as Deputy Director at the New Britain Museum of American Art to turn my attention to launching a creative venture in my home town of Glastonbury, Connecticut.
 
My original idea was to create a brick-and-mortar studio space where guests could drop in to participate in creative, artistic activities and parties. In spring of 2011, while discussing the challenges of finding an affordable storefront location with a friend, the suggestion was made to take the concept mobile. And why not? I immediately launched a search for the perfect vehicle.
 
Two more happy coincidences occurred while on the vehicle search: another friend suggested looking into modifying a tow-style trailer (he had worked in many as a field biologist); and one of my former star employees from the New Britain Museum of American Art , Morgan Fippinger, was looking for a career move.
 
I called Morgan to discuss the exciting new idea, and a partnership was formed. Morgan brought big talent in teaching and customer service to this venture, along with enthusiasm for multimedia design and social media.
 
Geared up with a mission to Mobilize Creativity, The Art Truck, LLC was officially formed in June 2011 and sealed when I bought our first Ford F150. By July, we took delivery of our first "raw" car hauler and spent the next three months outfitting the interior and learning the geometry and art of driving our first car hauler! 

We launched Connecticut's first mobile art studio with a plan for delivering five-star artistic parties and events throughout the state.

By the end of 2011, with no marketing other than a few emails to friends who shared with friends, (who shared with friends), The Art Truck had successfully hosted five parties in the region. Responses were overwhelmingly positive, and we were encouraged. 

We spent the winter building a great website, creating an email list, and planning a marketing campaign. We knew moms looking for birthday party options would be our initial target, but how could we reach them, introduce them to our brand new product, and convince them to buy?
 
In February of 2012, The Art Truck launched a Living Social deal aimed at Hartford County. Web site traffic hit 4,000 views in the first three days, and dozens of purchases followed. The Art Truck was on the map! 
 
The first party of 2012 was held on St. Patrick's Day alongside the beach in Madison, CT. Guests decorated flip-flops and tote bags, then sported their unique, artsy footwear while running on the beach.

By spring of 2013, more than 2,300 guest artists of all ages had enjoyed creative time in The Art Truck at over 140 parties and events.
 
Today, my focus is on designing top-notch creative experiences for artists of all ages at art parties and programs throughout Connecticut. And while dozens of five-star testimonials from delighted customers let us know that we are on the right path, this journey has just begun.
 
We invite you to follow our adventures by joining our mailing list and socializing with us on 
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Maura O’Shea, Co-founder, Director of Operations and Product Development 
Maura O'Shea is an artist and educator with extensive experience in art education, museum management, management consulting, and arts entrepreneurship. Following an 18-year career in museum and arts education, O'Shea turned her focus to launching a mobile art studio designed to mobilize creativity by bringing artistic parties and events to children and adults at locations throughout Connecticut. The Art Truck represents the culmination of O'Shea's experiences and interests. 

While working in arts education and museum management, O'Shea was struck by the joy and connectivity students and museum visitors of all ages expressed while engaged in creative activities. She spent 10 years developing education and interpretive programs for tens of thousands of visitors to the New Britain Museum of American Art, where she was promoted to Deputy Director and Curator of Education. O'Shea was part of the NBMAA management team responsible for a major museum expansion in 2006. She was charged with designing the Museum's first interactive "Art Lab" and Art Studio, while also expanding online interpretation and content for young learners. 

This experience helped to define O'Shea's future vision to create a similar venue in a commercial location. Her knowledge of art, art history, and artistic practice, combined with 12 years of experience in docent and teacher training, classroom instruction, and curriculum development, formed a natural path to The Art Truck.

O'Shea's experience teaching painting, drawing, and introductory art classes includes The Silvermine Guild School of Art, The Farmington Valley Arts Center, The Mattatuck Museum, and the Windrush School in El Cerito, California.

An experienced grant writer and project manager, O'Shea has received numerous awards to fund arts education and conservation projects from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Met Life Foundation Museum Connections Program, and several private foundations. She has reviewed grants for the National Endowment for the Humanities (Panelist) and the Institute of Museums and Library Services (Field Reviewer). Currently, O'Shea is a member of the Grants Committee at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, which awards annual grants to central Connecticut not-for-profits. As a freelance management consultant, O'Shea works with foundations and museums on program development, project management, and grant writing.

O'Shea's professional awards include 2006 Arts Educator of the Year from the New Britain Arts Alliance, a 2005 YWCA of Greater New Britain Women in Leadership Award, a 2004 Celebrate Our Communities Award from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, and a 2004 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for services to New Britain youth. 

O'Shea has been a presenter at the New England Museum Association and at libraries, community centers, and professional associations throughout the state. Past community involvement includes service as President of the Board of Directors of the New Britain Arts Alliance and as Trustee of the Mattatuck Museum, from 1993 to 1995.
 
In 2007, O'Shea participated in a 2007 Yale-AAM Executive Seminar in Museum Management and earned a certificate in "Teaching for Understanding" from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Project Zero in 2004. She studied painting at the Chautauqua Institute and The San Francisco Art Institute and holds a BFA from the University of Connecticut. 

O'Shea's artwork has been exhibited at the Gallery in the Heart of the City, New Britain, Connecticut; Connecticut Women Artists, April 2009; Bowery Gallery, New York City, 2001, Annual Juried Show Juror, Janet Fish, Painter; Artworks Gallery, Hartford, Connecticut, 2000, Annual Juried Show, Juror, Judith Kim, Curator of Contemporary Art; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut ; Exhibition Café, Waterbury, Connecticut 1999; Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, California, 1998; Vassos Gallery, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1996, Faculty Show; and Jorgensen Gallery, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 1995.

Morgan Fippinger, Co-founder, Director of Marketing and Client Services
Morgan Fippinger is an artist, educator and 2003 graduate from Plymouth State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and a Minor in Art History. Prior to developing The Art Truck, Fippinger spent seven years as the Manager of Visitor and Volunteer Services and Coordinator of Public programs at the New Britain Museum of American Art. She has also been a painting, drawing and mask-making instructor for both adults and children at institutions throughout Connecticut, including The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts PARTNERS artist in residency program, The Wadsworth Athenaeum and Miss Porters Boarding School in Farmington.

Fippinger has been a visiting lecturer throughout New England and has been honored to volunteer in her community as President of the Art League of New Britain, a member of the statewide advisory board on Artists with Disabilities, Central Connecticut State Universities biennial Women in Film Festival and The New England Carousel Museum's Education Committee. Fippinger lives in Bristol Connecticut with her Husband and Stepson.