SpaceIN Art Studio Teaches Traditional and Computer Arts

Artist HJ Chae opened SpaceIN Art Studio at Hacienda in the summer of 2017 to help children, teens, and adults explore traditional arts such as drawing and painting as well as computer arts such as animation.

"The public school system doesn't offer art classes anymore, so there's a huge gap for kids," says Chae, a Pleasanton resident and mother of two sons who are 10 and 13. SpaceIN Art Studio addresses that gap. Art sessions there introduce younger children to a variety of art media so they can experience many different ways of creative expression. For more experienced students, such as high schoolers, Chae says she guides them in technique, and gives them a foundation in the arts that they can build on in college.

"We aim to educate our students in all different kinds of creative art processes in a safe and supportive environment," notes the company's website. "By combining the latest technology with the traditional arts, we give our students the opportunity to work with computer and studio arts under the best artistic instruction available in the Tri-Valley area. We also offer a supportive community space where many local professionals and artists can meet, share ideas, and work together in the pursuit of artistic expression."

Chae has a BFA and an MFA in Painting in Fine Arts as well as a certificate in Expressive Art Therapy from John F. Kennedy University. Chae has exhibited her paintings and performance arts in Paris, Montpellier, and Seoul. After moving to Pleasanton, Chae began teaching private art lessons to friends and neighbors from her home studio in addition to creating her own work as an artist. Opening a public art studio at Hacienda and offering lessons was a natural next step.

SpaceIN Art Studio offers lessons in both traditional and computer arts. Chae's husband, Min Lee, teaches the computer arts classes. Lee has a BFA in Painting as well as an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of Art Institute in Chicago. Highlights of his career include working as a Lighting Technical Director on several feature film animation projects for Pixar, PDI/Dreamworks Animation, Sony Imageworks, and FrameStore VFX studio.

According to the company's website, "Lee's ultimate goal for the computer arts program is to set up a strong, visual storytelling course and to encourage all students to produce short films and animations in both individual and group projects. He believes in embracing art and technology influenced by games, literature, music, and social media to produce a paradigm shift into the world of innovative storytelling."

Chae and her family used to live elsewhere in the area, "but decided to move to Hacienda because we heard Pleasanton was the best place to raise boys," she says. She chose Hacienda for her business as well because of its convenient location.

SpaceIN Art Studio is available for corporate or private parties as well as art lessons. Classes are held in the morning, at lunch, in the evening, and on weekends. In Spring 2018, the space will host a new art exhibition of illustrations, curated by Chae, by five female artists who work in the Bay Area.

For more information about SpaceIN Art Studio, visit

Share this page!