Just beneath the entrance at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is the Fisher Family Art Lab where people of all ages are welcome to spend time making art. Micaela Martinez Saavedra, one of the Art Lab Facilitators, greets any museum goers with a smile as she sits and sews beads onto a gray dress on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

(L-R) John Boele cuts up some books for a collage as Micaela Martinez Saavedra sews at the BAMPFA Art Lab on Dec. 10, 2022, in Berkeley. (Isaac Ceja/Bay City News)

The Art Lab has many different materials and tools available including paper, books, scissors and colored pencils. It’s currently open on Fridays from 2-7 p.m. as well as on Saturdays and Sundays from 11-7 p.m. Children up to age 13 are free and parents are more than welcome to make art.

Colored pencils, markers and scissors available for use at the BAMPFA Art Lab on Dec. 10, 2022, in Berkeley. (Isaac Ceja/Bay City News)

Latifat Apatira was looking for a place to stay dry and chat with her friend and after they noticed the reading room at the museum was full they stumbled upon the Art Lab. Her first experience was a positive one and she hopes to visit again soon.

Latifat Apatira at the BAMPFA Art Lab on Dec. 10, 2022, in Berkeley. (Isaac Ceja/Bay City News)

“I don’t think many people know about it, so I highly encourage everyone to come check it out,” Apatira said. “The people are great, the supplies are great and the conversation is really stimulating.”

According to Martinez Saavedra, many people aren’t aware that the museum has the Art Lab and it’s considered a hidden gem.

Artwork from past attendees is displayed at the BAMPFA Art Lab on Dec. 10, 2022, in Berkeley. (Isaac Ceja/Bay City News)

One of the walls near the Art Lab is filled with artwork from previous attendees and another has postcards with poems and a variety of colorful posters made by Art Lab Facilitators for anyone to take home.

Saman Wright reads through some free postcards at the BAMPFA Art Lab on Dec. 10, 2022 in Berkeley. (Isaac Ceja/Bay City News)