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Looking for something fun to do with the family over school vacation? The answer is right in your own backyard. Get out and explore some of the best family programs Connecticut has to offer! Each session features new art activities ranging from fiber arts to painting to collage. Funding for Art Adventures is provided by the Northeast Utilities Foundation.
For details, call or e-mail:
Kathryn Matsuzaki, Coordinator of School & Family Programs
(860) 229-0257, ext. 220; This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Summer Art Adventures
July 8–Aug. 14

3-day Weekly Sessions (Tuesday through Thursday)
10:30 a.m.–noon

Ages 6+ (Pre-registration strongly suggested)
$12 Members, $18 non-Members

Session 1: July 8, 9 and 10
Artist-in-Residence Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan is a freelance cartoonist and comic book artist whose work spans from the comics industry to package design and advertising. Matt is also the co-founder of Free Lunch Studios in Granby, CT, where he works on freelance projects, teaches classes, mentors students from local schools, and hosts special art events. Check him out at!
Project: Sci-Fi Comics
Vintage science fiction “pulp art” from the Low Illustration Collection provides the inspiration for this comic book drawing workshop. Matt will quickly and cleverly guide students to envision and then create fantastical creatures and the wild worlds they inhabit. Pencils and paper are all that’s required to turn the Art Studio into a sci-fi fantasy factory so warm up your fingers and bring your imaginations!

Session 2: July 15, 16 and 17

Artist-in-Residence Joan Shackford
Joan Shackford has a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Art from Paier College of Art. Joan has spent numerous years teaching art to children through after school programs in Cheshire, Lil Moe Studio, and the Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon. Her personal philosophy on art making 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.
Project: Mini Museums
Have you seen the amazing artwork of Joe Fig? Our current NEW/NOW artist makes miniature spaces that faithfully recreate actual artists’ studios, right down to the tiniest details. Joan will turn the work of Joe Fig into a marvelously miniature studio project where students will design and construct their own miniature art museums out of cardboard, recyclables, and all sorts of exciting embellishments. Do you have a collection of rocks, shells, or other small objects? Bring them and build them a home!
Session 3: July 22, 23 and 24
Artist-in-Residence Craig Norton

Craig Norton has been a photographer since he was 8-years-old and he’s been sharing his passion for photography ever since. Four of his students have won national gallery awards and he received the Teaching Artist of Year award in 2012 from Arts For Learning CT. In addition to teaching, Craig is a professional photographer, video producer, and musician. His book “Rock The Shot!” will be published later this year.
Project: Rock the Shot! Digital Photography Workshop
With Craig’s guidance, kids will become more confident with their cameras by learning the basics of photography. In both Museum galleries and outdoor landscapes, students will explore several different projects that will give them a chance to learn how to take more interesting photos while having fun with photography. The class is “BYOC,” so bring your own camera – smartphones and tablets are also welcome! (Let us know if you don’t have access to a camera, as the Museum has a limited number of cameras available to borrow.)
Session 4: July 29, 30 and 31
Artist-in-Residence Jim Brunelle

Jim Brunelle has acquired a mastery of clay by consistently working with the medium for over twenty years. Jim produces work out of his residence studio in New Britain, the Farmington Valley Arts Center, and the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Aside from his work in clay, Jim’s paintings as well as prints have been exhibited in Connecticut galleries and museums, and he was the winner of the print award in the NBMAA’s 43rd annual juried Members Exhibition.
Project: Inside / Out
Join Jim on a true art adventure this summer, as he guides students on a looking and art making odyssey inside and outside of the Museum. Jim will share his expertise on all sorts of art forms as you visit special exhibit galleries, outdoor sculptures, and more. Learn a little, and create a lot! Take inspiration from your favorite artworks then try your hand at a variety of media, from colored pencils to watercolor, to bring all of your creative visions to life. If you love drawing and painting, this is the class for you!
Session 5: Aug. 5, 6 and 7
Artist-in-Residence Rashmi Talpade
SOLD OUT!Rashmi Talpade is from Bombay, India. She has shown and sold her work throughout the world, and since immigrating to Connecticut, has exhibited her paintings, drawings, collages, and installations in Hartford, New Haven, and New York. Deeply involved in the local art community, Rashmi has taught and served as Fine Arts Supervisor for Wallingford Parks and Recreation for ten years and has helped to put on City-Wide Open Studios since 2005. Rashmi also plays an advisory role at both Artspace and the Arts Council of New Haven.
Project: Clay Bonanza!
Create animals, birds, portraits and masks as well as strange critters from colorful Model Magic clay. White clay may be painted and colored clays may be mixed to create a myriad of colors, which you will then turn into wonderful projects of various subjects and sizes. Wood pieces, buttons, bits of yarn, and found objects may all be incorporated to add interesting textures and effects as well. A number of 3D paintings on canvas boards will also be explored. The sky is the limit for creativity, so come prepared to thoroughly enjoy three days of clay!
Session 6: Aug. 12, 13 and 14
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.
Project: Weaving
From the mythological tale of Arachne and Athena’s weaving competition, to the invention of early computers, fiber arts have an incredible history! Learn all about the various cultures that enjoy a rich history of weaving and explore the forms that modern fiber artists are still exploring. Students will spend three days creating a small tapestry using a simple tabby weave (over/under). Come and enjoy this relaxing art form, with all its endless possibilities!
The class is recommended for ages 10 & up.

art studio