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Art Lab

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Long-awaited renovations to the Museum’s Landers House have been completed, opening new vistas for members who would like to pursue art classes and activities offered by the NBMAA’s Education Department.

The Landers House now includes an ArtLab for families on the first floor of the building, complete with hands-on art projects that can be pursued independently by visitors. The ArtLab was funded in part by a $121,346 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and $100,000 from the Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. It will incorporate nearly 20 activities developed by artists such as Mundy Hepburn, Tom Gradante, Melanie Carr Eveleth, Mike Kachuba, Tina Rice, Jim Jacobs and Jonathan Keezing especially for the space.

The ever-popular costume rack, interpreting clothing portrayed in the Museum’s permanent collection, will return to the ArtLab, all spruced up for the occasion.

The basement level of the Landers House has been transformed into a light-filled, spacious new art studio funded by the American Savings Foundation, where classes will be held for children and adults. The studio opens onto a terrace leading directly to Museum grounds, overlooking Walnut Hill Park.

Curator of Education Maura O’Shea says that classes will be organized thematically, changing every quarter, and will include life drawing, sketching and watercolor for adults and a multitude of media for adults and children. The studio has been outfitted with easels, computer stations, drying racks and ample storage space. In addition to drawing and painting, classes will be organized in photography, paper making, print making and sculpture. Weekly drop-in classes will be held as well as special workshops and birthday parties, which will feature hands-on arts activities.

“We are very interested in learning the types of classes that our visitors want,” O’Shea says, noting that many special classes will begin in the Landers House this spring.

The Landers House also incorporates the Christine Moser Library on the first floor of the building, which will be open by appointment to members and the public. A large selection of the Museum’s art reference books is included in this collection.