The Kent Historical Society will offer five weeks of Art Enrichment Programs for children this summer. There will be opportunities for young artists from ages 5 to 12 to explore their artistic talents. This year will feature new classes in a variety of mediums and new instructors.
The Historical Society wants to foster arts education for young people in our area to honor the memory of George Laurence Nelson, a pre-eminent 20th Century artist known for his portraits, landscapes and florals, who lived at Seven Hearths for many years and bequeathed his 18th century home to the Kent Historical Society to operate as a museum.
Some comments from parents: “The instructor was great and the projects were so creative.” “She enjoyed the group creation of comics. The creative interaction was fun for her.” “She enjoyed the chance to immerse herself in painting.”
KHS believes that arts education and other forms of cultural enrichment are essential to a young person’s whole and healthy development. The Society offers Summer Arts Enrichment to encourage children’s innate creativity and boost creative thinking and problem solving, while expanding their experience and appreciation of the arts.
Classes take place in the Kent Historical Society’s “Art Barn,” an indoor/outdoor space on the campus of the Historical Society’s Seven Hearths property, facing gardens and a woodland that will be used as extended classroom space. At the culmination of each class there will be an exhibition to allow parents and family to see all of the creations completed through the week.
Registration is not complete until payment is received, either by check or online. Space is limited in each class. Fees are $110 for non-members and $100 for members per session. Join as a Family member for $50. There is no discount for partial week attendance.
Final registration deadline is June 12. Checks to Kent Historical Society may be mailed to KHS, Art Enrichment Program, PO Box 651, Kent, CT 06757.
Refunds for Summer Art Enrichment will only be made up until 30 days before the child’s class begins, if we are able to fill the space with another applicant, less a $30 deposit/administrative fee. Membership fees are not refundable.
Week 1 Let’s Create Together: Celebrating Peace and the Environment for ages 8-12, Mornings 9am to Noon, June 25-29
This week-long workshop will be focused on creating a banner from fabric, drawing on the beauty of nature surrounding us, tinting fabric, creating drawings and completing our artwork on fabric with colorful markers. Using the three “R’s”: reduce, reuse, recycle, as our subject, our artwork will celebrate the beauty of the peaceful preservation of the earth. We’ll study the art of local famous artists, Eric Sloane and Norman Rockwell, and learn lettering techniques that are fun and creative. Students will develop an eye for color and ways of composing for best effect. This class is taught by Lisa Weinblatt, who is a 38-year art instructor at a private school in Long Island, NY. Lisa is an active professional artist with her work shown in multiple group exhibits in the tri-state area and has been awarded six national Artist-In-Residence scholarships throughout the US. She received her BA from Queens College/CUNY and her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
Week 1 Picture This! Paintings With A Message for ages 8-12, afternoons 1-4 PM, June 25-29
Nature’s beauty surrounds us. We will paint the natural landscape and local views, as our visual subject; incorporating words or a quote from a poem or text, about nature, into our image. Students will be taught techniques of quick color sketching, observational drawing and creative compositions, using words to heighten interest in the painting. Painting instruction will cover color mixing, palette layout, as well as, creative ideas for text as a creative point of interest. The artwork of local major artists will be used to learn new ways of approaching our paintings. This will include studying the flower paintings and drawings of George Laurence Nelson and the cloud studies of Eric Sloane. This class will also be taught by Lisa Weinblatt.
Week 2 Drawing Workshop for ages 9-10, mornings 9 am to noon, July 9-13
Artist and longtime art teacher Albert Coffill will share his talents in drawing with this class. This class will review basic drawing techniques that include drawing exercises, the proper use of materials and hands-on projects. Each student will receive a sketchbook to record the images that will embrace the historical connection associated with artist George Laurence Nelson and his artistic creations. Natural and manmade objects from the property, including the house and gardens will be used in still life, portraiture and landscape drawing. The students will also have the opportunity to work on subjects of their own choice using the techniques taught during the workshop. The Historical Society is excited to welcome Mr. Coffill back for a second year to the summer art program. Mr. Coffill taught art for 42 years at Kent Center School, as well as teaching previously part-time at Sharon Center School. Mr. Coffill is a renowned landscape painter and he is known for capturing special places in Northwest Connecticut. When not in his studio, Mr. Coffill can be found in the many gardens of his family home. He has always had a love for nature and has explored many areas of Connecticut where his family has lived for thirteen generations. It is this appreciation of nature that ties both painting and gardening together for Mr. Coffill.
Week 2 Painting Workshop for ages 11-12, afternoons 1-4 pm, July 9-13
The painting class will also be taught by Artist and longtime art teacher Albert Coffill. Instruction will concentrate on using a palette that emphasizes color mixing along with various ways of using paint. Starting with primary colors plus black and white, the students will experiment with mixing hues, paint various subject matter and explore different themes each day. Subjects that the students choose, the work of George Laurence Nelson as well as the property of Seven Hearths will provide the artists inspiration as they develop a painting style of their own.
Week 3 What the Art? for ages 5-7, mornings 9 am to noon, July 16-20
Children will explore interesting ways to create something new, like torn paper, collage, shapes and colors, everyday items, photos, and other alternative mediums. We’ll use picture books as inspiration from celebrated illustrators such as Eric Carle and Leo Lionni. Then, expand to other methods, and create artwork based on our own stories. Combining different styles will allow students to create a look of their own. This class is led by Wendy Clery, who has a love of exploring her own creativity and is the owner of Illuminate Life CT, which offers creative-based coaching through classes and workshops. She previously taught art to local veterans at the Danbury Veteran’s Center.
Week 3 Homes of the Wee Folk for ages 8-12, afternoons 1-4 pm, July 16-20
Learning aspects of architecture and sculpture, students will imagine a tiny woodland creature and build a home based on its needs and likes. We will plan out the structure by sketching ideas, then use clay, sticks, stone, plants, and/or found objects to make it come to life. Students will include accessories and plants to create a piece of their creature’s world. If weather permits, we will use the garden for a fun photo shoot. Students will use their sketchbooks all week long to imagine what the structure could be and transform their ideas into reality. This class is also led by Wendy Clery. She is modeling this session on a workshop that she’s offered to children in the New Milford area.
Week 4 Transforming Paper Into Art for ages 5-8, mornings 9 am to noon, July 23-27
Joy Gaiser is a retired music and special education teacher and was honored to be chosen the Teacher of the Year in New Milford for the 2010-11 school year. She also was the president of the New Milford Historical Society for 7 years and ran the summer colonial crafts program at their one-room schoolhouse with a fellow teacher. She will teach the children to make paper from recycled paper, learn about color utilizing a variety of mediums such as crayons, markers, and watercolors and techniques such as mosaic resist. They will also do some creative paper folding activities and have a chance to embroider one of their own drawings or sew a catnip mouse if they prefer. Each child will be given a sketchbook to explore their own creative ideas.
Week 4 The Art of Paper: Creating, Using, Folding for ages 8-12, afternoons 1-4 pm, July 23-27
Joy Gaiser will also lead these students in paper making from recycled paper, petals, glitter, grass, etc. She will show the children how to turn this paper into greeting cards and thank you notes. Calligraphy will be introduced, and each child will receive a calligraphy pen. The class will make an agamograph with premade pictures or pictures that they created themselves which will require careful measuring, folding, and cutting. They will learn to draw some 3-D shapes and designs which will include a review of the color wheel and how to use it. A variety of mediums will be used throughout the week and ways to use each. Each child will design a simple stencil to use on a papier mache item they decorate, and each will be given a sketchbook to make notes and for their own ideas and sketches.
Week 5 Exploration in Collage for ages 5-8, mornings 9 am to noon, July 30 to Aug. 3
Gabriella Martinez, who is a resident of South Kent and currently attending the Hartford Art School, will return for her second year as an instructor with the Kent Historical Society this summer. She is a talented artist and photographer in her own right and enjoys sharing her creativity with young students.
This class includes several art projects involving collage materials. Each student will be given three-dimensional objects such as jars, plates, and boxes to collage and turn into whimsical yet useful artful creations. For example, a glass jar collaged with colorful tissue paper is transformed into a whimsical lantern. A glass plate or wooden box collaged with photos makes a personalized one of a kind gift or keepsake. Students are encouraged to be creative makers, and use any of the materials provided, or supplies that they want to bring from home.