Discovering Art and Nature—Art Classes for Kids Offered at the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers' Museum

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.June 20, 2007—The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum team up to offer a perfect blend of summer fun and creative exploration for children ages 4 to 14, from July 2 through August 24, in Discovering Art & Nature: Summer Art Classes for Kids. New this year will be Native American-themed workshops, which will be held at The Farmers’ Museum. There will be two sessions offered daily: 9:00 am to 10:00 am for ages 4-7 and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for ages 8-14. Classes will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at The Farmers’ Museum and Monday and Thursday at the Fenimore Art Museum. No class will be held on July 4th.

The complete class schedule is as follows:

Monday, July 2 (Fenimore Art Museum): Make a Story Book
Young artists will illustrate a story, such as a fairy tale or a story they have written themselves, and will then put these pages together in a book. They will be shown different methods for binding their books, and will have an opportunity to make extra books for photos, journals, or gifts!

Tuesday, July 3 (The Farmers’ Museum): Trees, Trees, and More Trees
Trees are such a big part of our everyday life, yet most of us know little about them. Get a close-up look at trees by studying their different parts, making bark and leaf rubbings, and playing some fun tree-based activities.

Thursday, July 5 (Fenimore Art Museum): Fire and Folk Art
Children will be given a tour of the special exhibit on firefighting, Folk Art on Fire, and will then make and design their own parade fire hats like those seen in the gallery.

Friday, July 6 (The Farmers’ Museum): Animal Sculpture from Clay
Children will be provided clay to create an animal. A walk to the farm and photos of animals will give reference for the children to consider when they make their own unique animals.

Monday, July 9 (Fenimore Art Museum): Egyptian Art
Children will learn some symbols in the ancient Egyptian language of hieroglyphics, as well as some stories of the gods and goddesses of this mystical time. They will then create their own “wall” of hieroglyphics using rubbers stamps, cutout characters, and more!

Tuesday, July 10 (The Farmers’ Museum): Ink Drawing with Twigs
There will be examples of ink drawings done with twigs. The children will go outside in a group to gather several twigs. There will be practice time to get used to drawing with twigs, and then the artists will produce a final drawing.

Wednesday, July 11 (Native American Programs –The Farmers’ Museum): Year of the Turtle
Children will discover the importance of the turtle in the Iroquois culture. Learn how Native Americans kept track of the months through interactive games and stories. Children will create their own turtle calendar.

Thursday, July 12 (Fenimore Art Museum): Sun Prints
Learn about how the art of photography works by making prints on special paper that is exposed in the sun (or if it’s a cloudy day, in a special light box) and is developed in water! They will also make special frames for their favorite prints.

Friday, July 13 (The Farmers’ Museum): Rock Painting
Young artists will paint on smooth river stones to create a “pet rock.” They will then create an environment for their new pet using a small box and collage materials.

Monday, July 16 (Fenimore Art Museum): Collage Constructed with Nature
In this fun class, children will gather twigs, grass, leaves, etc. from outside (if poor weather these items will be pre-collected). These bits from nature will then be cut, sorted, and glued to paper to create a design, landscape, or even a portrait!

Tuesday, July 17 (The Farmers’ Museum): Natural Rhythm
Have you ever taken the time to sit in the woods and listen to all the wonderful sounds? Join us while we listen to the sounds that nature makes. Afterwards, we will make some sound makers of our own.

Wednesday, July 18 (Native American Programs – The Farmers’ Museum): Amazing Maize
Discover some of the many uses for corn. Hear the story of the No Face Doll and make your own cornhusk doll to take home.

Thursday, July 19 (Fenimore Art Museum): Origami-Rama
Young artists will explore the ancient Japanese art of paper folding by learning some basic folds and then making a selection of animals and objects – cats, birds, and even drinking cups – with brightly colored origami paper.

Friday, July 20 (The Farmers’ Museum): Caterpillars and Butterflies
Learn about caterpillars and butterflies. What do caterpillars and butterflies look like up close? Do all caterpillars become butterflies? What do butterflies eat? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Children will also get the chance to make a caterpillar and butterfly to take home.

Monday, July 23 (Fenimore Art Museum): The Mysteries of Paint
In this messy and fun class, children will explore the qualities of different kinds of paint in a series of fun art projects. Children in the afternoon class will make their own egg tempera paints and then create a painting with them!

Tuesday, July 24 (The Farmers’ Museum): A Craving for Carving! With Ron Riley
If you like to carve wood, or have always wanted to see how it's done, join us as we host Ron Riley, a great woodcarver. Ron will be bringing all sorts of wooden items for us to sand and paint.

Wednesday, July 25 (Native American Programs): Oral Tradition
Children will learn about the importance of stories and the oral tradition to the Haudenosaunee. Experience this tradition first hand by listening and then joining in the storytelling themselves. Children will also make a storytelling bag to hold their own stories.

Thursday, July 26 (Fenimore Art Museum): Moving Pictures
Children will explore 19th-century toys used to create “moving pictures,” including thaumatropes and praxinoscopes, and will make their own flip books and other visually exciting toys to take home.

Friday, July 27 (The Farmers’ Museum): “Birds of a Feather…”
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the birds in your back yard? Take a hike on our trails and learn how to listen for different bird calls. Later, we’ll make our very own bird feeders to take home.

Monday, July 30 (Fenimore Art Museum): Kan-do-sky
Kandinsky was a Russian artist who was interested in using shapes and colors to create a feeling of music in his paintings. While listening to different kinds of music, young artists will create their own artworks that relate to the sounds they hear.

Tuesday, July 31 (The Farmers’ Museum): The Plants in Your Forest
Take a walk in the woods and learn about the different plants around us and how they interact with one another. Afterwards each child will make their own terrarium to take home and care for.

Wednesday, August 1 (Native American Programs): Which Animal are You?
Learn about the clan system of the Iroquois. Discover which nine animals make up the clans and the characteristics associated with each. Join in a clan game and make your own clan animal out of clay.

Thursday, August 2 (Fenimore Art Museum): Wild Wild West
Children will explore the art museum’s special exhibit of Frederic Remington’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures of the Old West. They will then create their own artworks based on what they have seen in the gallery.

Friday, August 3 (The Farmers’ Museum): Fabulous Froggy Fun
Take a hike with us to look for different frogs. Children will learn about frogs and their importance in the natural world. We will also make frog puppets to take home.

Monday, August 6 (Fenimore Art Museum): Hudson River School Painting
Young artists will learn about the Hudson River School artists, who made beautiful landscape paintings during the 1800s. They will then make their own large-scale paintings in this style while sitting outside and looking at Otsego Lake (weather permitting).

Tuesday, August 7 (The Farmers’ Museum): Welcome to the Underworld
Most people are so afraid of creepy crawlies that they don’t take the time to see how very cool they are. Join us on a walk in the woods while we search for creatures that live under logs and stones, collect spider webs, and make bug magnets to take home.

Wednesday, August 8 (Native American Programs): Feel the Rhythm
Children will listen to both traditional and modern Native American music. They will discover what instruments were used by the Haudenosaunee and make their own rattle.

Thursday, August 9 (Fenimore Art Museum): Fabulous Fresco Plaque
A fresco is a painting on fresh, wet plaster on a wall or ceiling. The paint is absorbed into the drying plaster, making it permanent. This type of painting has been done since 1600 B.C.! Children will make their own fresco plaques to hang on a wall.

Friday, August 10 (The Farmers’ Museum): Footprint Fun
Animals often leave their footprints in soft mud and sand. Learning to identify these footprints is a fun way to learn about the animals around you. Children will be looking for different types of footprints and learn how to make plaster casts of them.

Monday, August 13 (Fenimore Art Museum): Magnificent Mosaic
Mosaics appeared as early as 3000 B.C. and became widespread during 300 B.C. in cities ruled by Greece. In this class, young artists will design an original mosaic using glass and ceramic tiles.

Tuesday, August 14 (The Farmers’ Museum): Mammal Mania
Children will learn about the mammals they see everyday in their backyard. Join us in some great animal-based activities and make a sock puppet of your favorite mammal.

Wednesday, August 15 (Native American Programs): Fun in the Sun
Games are a part of the Iroquois way of life. Children will learn the history of these games and have the opportunity to try some of them first hand. They will also make their own bowl game to take home.

Thursday, August 16 (Fenimore Art Museum): Play with Clay
Children will look at clay objects in the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, especially ceramic pots from the Desert Southwest. They will then make their own miniature clay jars using techniques and designs seen in the pieces in the collection.

Friday, August 17 (The Farmers’ Museum): Leaf it to Me
Have you every taken the time to look at all the different leaves there are in our forests?! They come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. We’ll look at all kinds of leaves, make leaf rubbings, and design leaf print T-shirts to take home.

Monday, August 20 (Fenimore Art Museum): Japanese Painting & Printing
Learn about the arts of ink painting and woodcut printing in this class! Children will look at examples of Japanese paintings and prints, and will make their own based on these styles. They will use special foam blocks to make woodcut-style prints to take home!

Tuesday, August 21 (The Farmers’ Museum): Pressed Flower Art
Did you know you can make a beautiful butterfly or any artistic image with pressed flowers and leaves? Children will be given an array of pressed plant material to make any kind of shape, scene, or image they desire.

Wednesday, August 22 (Native American Programs): Meet the Three Sisters
Find out who the Three Sisters are and their importance in the Haudenosaunee family. Discover how they worked together and were used through hands-on activities and then create a picture using the Three Sisters themselves.

Thursday, August 23 (Fenimore Art Museum): Let’s Go Fly a Kite!
Construct, decorate, and fly your own kite in this fun workshop! Children will choose colors, create tails, and if the weather is good, we will go outside and watch our creations soar into the sky! Limited supplies; please call to reserve for this class!

Friday, August 24 (The Farmers’ Museum): Lake Ecology
Learn about our lake. How did it get here? What life lives beneath its surface? Participants will take a look for life in the lake. Afterwards, make your own underwater scene.

The cost for Discovering Art is $7.00 per child, per class for ages 8-14 and $5.00 per child per class for ages 4-7. Students, who pre-register for four classes, will receive the fifth class free. Reservations are strongly suggested; for more information or to pre-register, please call (607) 547-1410 or visit us online at

The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum, two distinct institutions that together explore and present the diverse history, art, and culture of rural American life, are located across from each other on Lake Road, Route 80, in Cooperstown, NY. Admission to each museum is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, and $5 for children age 7 to 12; children 6 and under and members are admitted free. Reduced price combination admission tickets that include both museums and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are also available. The Fenimore Art Museum is open from April 1 through December 30; The Farmers’ Museum is open from April 1 through October 31, with special events throughout the year. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit and


For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail:

Press Release Category: 
Program and Event Press Releases
Publication Date: 
June 2007