Art Studios

Studio 5 and Studio 10 offer opportunities to experience the creative process through a wide variety of visual arts media. The studio programming, which changes regularly throughout the year, encourages visitors to explore diverse materials, tools, and techniques. By presenting an environment that stimulates creativity and encourages collaboration, we create an atmosphere where people are free to express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas through art. Check out some photos from our latest projects! 

Art Studio 5

Children of all ages love the process, not the product. Let your children get messy on our special painting walls, play on our tactile table, or explore our artist of the month project! Our specially designed sensory table is equipped with either Bubber (found in our store), sand, or our home-made flarp (PDF)! Early learners explore through their senses, so varied tactile materials are important for development.  They help expose children to new surface textures and consistencies, as well as improve dexterity and enhance fine motor skills. Our artist theme of the month projects allow children and adults to make connections to practicing artists highlighted on our studio walls by using similar techniques and/or materials.  

Museum at Home

If you have an old acrylic or Plexiglas picture frame at home, you can make your own mini-painting window. Remove any hardware from the clear area and cover the sharp edges with duct tape. Use washable Tempera paint (we mix ours with a little soap for easy clean up) in old yogurt containers. If you have some paintbrushes, that’s great; if not, you can use cotton swabs or let  children use their fingers.Worried about the mess? Try painting in the tub or the back yard!

Questions to ask your child:

  • Can you tell me about what you’re making?
  • What do you think will happen if…?
  • Can you think of another way to do that?

Art experiences for young children can vary depending on age and development. Typical art by young children doesn’t become representational until around their 4th birthday, and this can vary with each individual child. Try to resist the urge to ask, “What is it?” as your child works on their art. Encourage creativity and independence by allowing them to make their own choices and follow their imaginations. Foster a lifelong love of art by becoming a collector, and not a critic, of the most important artist you’ll ever know!

Art Studio 10

Art Studio 10 is intended to inspire individuals to create take home projects and participate in larger, collaborative creations. Facilitation is process based, with an emphasis on learning how to use specific tools and then use them in manipulating a variety of materials. Through staff modeling and educational signage, we encourage adults to act as mediators and support children's creative process.

The creative process often unfolds slowly over time, and doesn’t necessarily have an end result. Please don’t rush and allow time for children to satisfy their creative needs. Expressive possibilities are nearly endless in our open-ended art studio experiences.

We hope that this educational experience for child and adult will continue beyond the Museum walls. Click here to learn more about creativity at the Museum.

Museum at Home

Wait for kids to ask for help with tools. Many children can’t effectively use scissors until age 5. Let them play with scissors and other tools, but do not intervene until they ask.

Keep packaging and other simple materials around for kids to use in their creations. Provide a drawer or box for them to store their supplies. Provide simple, non-toxic, washable supplies they can use in their creative process. Include crayons, markers, glues, stickers and other  simple supplies.

Create a “mess safety zone” by laying down an old vinyl shower curtain or taking your art outside. If children are worried about making a mess, it may  limit their creativity.

Set aside some space in your home for a display area. Allow children to curate their collection, choosing what to keep and how to arrange their work.

Creativity Grows Here

So, how do we help to foster creativity in your children?  Here are some ideas that we use to develop our programming:

  • Our curriculum is open-ended.  Art projects are intrinsically motivating, allowing for active engagement, sustained involvement and multiple outcomes.  There are no fixed outcomes.
  • We emphasize the process in activities that allows children to connect ideas and build their own structure through experimentation and repetition, constantly developing and evaluating their own theories.
  • Our activities encourage child-directed play.  Loose parts, unusual materials, and a variety of tools supports risk taking, and allows children to make their own choices and make connections between actions.
  • We consider our learning environment to be the third teacher.  Based on the philosophies of Reggio Emilia we create a setting for children to create that can be self-guided, allows for freedom of choice, and supports children’s interests. 

Learn more about how we nurture creativity at the Museum and how you can help your child explore, discover, immerse, imagine and connect with tips from Art Studio 5 and Art Studio 10.

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