Summer Art Session Success

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education on July 27th, 2022

Mid-July marked the return of the Woodson Art Museum’s popular Summer Art Sessions for young artists ages five through eight and nine through twelve. Abundant Future’s cultivated plant subjects and artist Ginny Ruffner’s imagined botanical landscape served as inspiration for half-day sessions of art making in the Museum’s classroom studio and sculpture garden. The younger “Micro-Greens” worked in two-dimensions while older participants focused on three-dimensional projects.

Three pairs of Summer Art Session participants, holding clipboards, look up at Ginny Ruffner paintings in a corner of her "Reforestation of the Imagination" gallery.

Summer Art Session participants search Ginnny Ruffner artworks for ideas and answers during a scavenger hunt in the galleries.

A walk through the Museum’s sculpture garden with our younger participants was the perfect setting for an interactive art lesson.  Museum educator Rachel Hausmann-Schall talked to the group about composition before passing out “view finders” during our garden walk. By isolating scenes and features outside, students recognized how key the placement of visual elements is when creating a design.

Younger Summer Art Session participants smile and pose behind mat board "view finders" for a group photo, posed around and sitting on top of a bronze hippo sculpture in the garden.

“View finders” served as great props for a group photo, too.

Each Mico-Green artist created two paintings during their Tuesday and Wednesday Art Sessions, using washes of watered-down paint, custom stamps based on original drawings, and bespoke stencils.

Two side-by-side images; in the left image, six female Art Session participants are standing around a round table with a green table cloth. Each girl is holding a paint brush and is adding paint to their botanical stamps, which they will transfer to their color-washed canvases. The second image, on the righthand side, shows one of the student's stamped paintings. The painting's background features light warm colors, that blend and mix together and over the background a bright green cactus shape has been stamped across the canvas.

After first layers of color were added to canvas, students used homemade stamps to add an additional layer of interest to their paintings.

Older Art Session artists created colorful botanical collages and sculptures of invented plant species and seedpods after viewing examples brought in from outside and illustrations of different means of seed dispersal. Using foam, paper, glue, wire, and more, participants experimented and troubleshooted to determine what combinations of materials were the best match for their creative visions.

Two side-by-side images featuring older Summer Art Session participants in the Museum's classroom. The first image, on the lefthand side, is of two girls standing and smiling beside their botanical sculptures, which are sitting on top of a round, maple wood table with crafting materials scattered across it. The second, righthand-side image, shows two brothers sitting at a different round maple wood table, working on their sculpture projects.

Botanical sculpture projects take shape in the Museum’s classroom studio.

This summer’s Art Session experiences were an exhilarating and rewarding whirlwind of creative engagement. Following a two-year hiatus, I was relieved I could keep up with such ambitious groups of young artists.

Image shows a display of botanical paintings created by younger Art Session participants; the paintings are hung in a large horizontal diamond shape, which stretches across the entire wall. The paintings are arranged in a loose, pattern, similar to a checkerboard or alternating up-and-down positions.

Micro-Green artists’ paintings made for an impressive salon-style installation.

Stop by the Woodson Art Museum now through August 21, to see the fruits (poor pun intended) of this talented bunches’ (sorry; not sorry) efforts.

This is a second image of the Art Session projects display, featuring the three-dimensional sculptures created by older students. The projects are displayed in small groups on top of a three white pedestals, shaped like rectangles, positioned in front of a sunny window; outside the window is the pathway to the Museum's main entrance doors where you can see part of the Museum building and garden beds.

Inventive plant-themed sculptures created by older Summer Art Session participants are on view for visitors to enjoy.

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