Family Programs > Studio@4 PDF Print E-mail

For Children Ages 8-11
Class size limited; $12/month Members, $22/month non-Members

Ongoing Thursdays, 4-5:30 p.m.
Work with Museum educators and guest artists to learn about art materials, processes and production while getting a behind-the-scenes look at Museum pieces. You will work in Museum galleries, on Museum grounds and in the American Savings Foundation Art Studio.

Preregistration is required for each monthly session; enrollment is limited and varies per session. New sessions begin on the first Thursday of each month. We offer scholarships for New Britain students, so please feel free to ask if you qualify.

To register or for any questions or concerns, please contact Katy Matsuzaki, Coordinator of School & Family Programs, at (860) 229-0257 ext. 220 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Sept. 4, 11, 18, and 25
Registration ENDS: Sept. 2
September Projects: Artful Architecture

Ever wonder what it’s like to design houses or question why buildings in your town look the way they do? Join Mary Smeallie for a full-on exploration of all things architectural in this back-to-school Studio@4 session. Not only will you learn about buildings old and new but you’ll also have the opportunity to construct your own structure out of varied shapes, colors, and textures on the page. Steps into the shoes of an architect as you take on a large-scale painting project and infuse the design of buildings with your own unique artistic style!

Artist-in-Residence Mary Cottle Smeallie
Mary Cottle Smeallie has been an artist as well as an arts instructor for many years. She currently teaches art at the elementary level for the Berlin Public Schools, where she is also the Fine Arts Coordinator. She is a juried member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society and the West Hartford Art League, and teaches watercolor for adults at the NBMAA. Mary maintains a studio at her home in West Hartford, where she paints, prints, and makes all sorts of fabulous art all year round.

Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30
Registration ENDS: Sept. 30, 2014
October Projects: Creative, Colorful Quilts
What do origami, Zentangle scratch art, quilling, and mosaics all have in common? Explore the magic of color, pattern, and texture through a wide range of fun and creative paper projects that take quilting to a whole new level. Our inspiration will come from the exciting exhibit Let Me Quilt One More Day and the world of our imagination. No needle or thread required!

Artist-in-Residence Virginia Lynn Anderson
Virginia Lynn Anderson is a musician and artist who works within the spiritual and natural realms to create her paintings. A veteran artist-in-residence, she shares her creative talents with children and adults alike, providing therapeutic music, community drum circles, and arts integration programs for schools, hospitals, museums, and other organizations. She has authored a children’s picture book, The Flying Phlox, and her work can be found in galleries, hospitals, and corporate collections throughout the state. Virginia creates out of her studio in West Hartford.

Nov. 6, 13, and 20
Registration ENDS: Nov. 4, 2014
November Projects: Cool Collage
Get up close with some COOL contemporary art—and make it personal! Join Joan Shackford on a sensational odyssey through some of the most cutting edge art that the Museum has to offer. John O’Donnell’s Psychedelic Pantry and Titus Kaphar’s The Vesper Project will immerse all of us in the creative process and leave hands and minds limbered up for a series of collage projects that will let students “remix” their favorite museum masterpieces.

Artist-in-Residence Joan Shackford
Joan Shackford has a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Art from Paier College of Art. Joan has spent many years teaching art to children through after school programs in Cheshire and at Lil Moe Studio and the Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon. Her personal philosophy on artmaking is simply that every individual should create work that gives a feeling of self-satisfaction, and this underpins her teaching, as well as the varied art that she creates in her free time.

December 4, 11, and 18
Registration ENDS: Dec. 2, 2014
December Projects: Sew Inspired!
Let me quilt one more month! Do you love quilts, sewing, or simply the thought of “painting” with fabric? If so then you are sure to enjoy a special handmade pillow project designed by Deb, who counts fiber art among her many creative pursuits. Under her guidance you’ll get to try out sewing and batik fabric dyeing. Color mix and creatively stitch your way to a mosaic of textures, which you’ll then stuff with poly fil to make a pillow. Take it home or surprise someone with a one-of-a-kind gift this holiday!

Artist-in-Residence Deb Lasher
Artist Deb Lasher is a favorite teacher at Artsplace in Cheshire, where she’s taught for the past 12 years. She currently teaches kindergarten through 6th grade drawing and multi-media classes. Her summer programs include her original creation, the popular “Fairytopia” art camp, and her year-round workshops allow children’s creativity to flow. While her formal education is in business (she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees), she is always learning and continues to study a variety of art media, focusing especially on Colored Pencil.


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New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052
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