No Shortage of Summer Activities

By: Rachel Hausmann-Schall, artist residency & adult program manager on July 19th, 2023

As many of us enjoy trips up north, to the beach, or out of state during the summer months, there’s no shortage of things to do at the Woodson Art Museum for those who choose to remain local. July has been bustling with activity at the Museum; in the galleries, classrooms, Sculpture Garden, and the newly completed Glass Box Studio.

Strips of maps are cut and woven together to create the outside cover of a sketchbook

Woven sketchbook cover created by Summer Art Session participant

Children are rolling out paint onto Gelli plates to create prints with found materials like leaves, flowers, and sticks.

Students making Gelli plate prints during Summer Art Sessions

While Summer Art Sessions for children ages 5-8 concluded last week, this week we welcomed budding artists ages 9-12 to the museum. Emily Fritz, the Museum’s new Youth/Family Program Manager and I worked to develop hands-on projects crafted from recycled materials for both groups of Summer Art Session participants. The young artists spent time in Reclaimed: The Art of Recology and learned about the different ways artists use unconventional materials to make art. Our younger students created Gelli plate prints with found objects from the Sculpture Garden, crafted their own magazine beads, and made Exquisite Corpse collages. The older students in Summer Art Sessions worked on insect sculptures made from recycled cardboard and created a woven sketchbook made from maps of Wisconsin. Both groups contributed to a collaborative mural that will be on view in the Museum’s main level hallway July 29 – September 3.

Children sit at a large folding table filled with cardboard, paper, and tape they are using to created recycled insect sculptures.

Summer Art Session participants working on recycled cardboard insect sculptures

As our young artists kept busy, our first Glass Box Studio Artist in Residence Heidi Parkes arrived eager and ready to interact with Museum audiences. Heidi is a Milwakee-based fiber artist and yoga therapist who centers her life around the handmade. Her quilts incorporate hand stitching techniques, layering, embroidery, and heirloom textiles. Heidi’s exhibition, Reuse, Reflection, and Storytelling in Cloth will remain on view in the lower level gallery through August 27. This week, during her residency, Heidi will be teaching hand-stitching techniques during drop-in programs that conclude with hand yoga, instructing workshop participants on how to create quilted vessels, and working with individuals with low vision and blindness during Art Beyond Sight.

People sit at round tables in a large room with natural light. They are working on small, quilted squares during a drop-in program led by guest artist Heidi Parkes.

Drop-in quilting participants during Heidi Parkes’ residency

Heidi Parkes sits at a table working on her large, colorful quilt made from green and red-orange fabric.

Artist in Residence Heidi Parkes working on an in-progress quilt

While the summer months are ticking away, time feels like it’s flying because of all the exciting programs the Woodson Art Museum has to offer. Don’t miss your opportunity to take part in some of these hands-on offerings, because there’s plenty to go around . . . and more to come this fall with the opening of Birds in Art and new programming models that are sure to enthuse.

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