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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Andy's Special Sunday: Plant Inspired Mobiles

Recently, Summer Art Studio intern Andy Caira designed a Special Sunday program for museum guests. He planned the event, prepared materials, and facilitated art making in the Art Studio. The following is his description of the project:

This Special Sunday was inspired by the progress of Bobbie’s Meadow and the beautiful orchard which houses the Eric Carle Museum. To honor this beauty, I designed a project which would hopefully turn the inside of the Art Studio into a terrarium of hanging plant-inspired mobiles.

A plant mobile in the window with a reflection of Bobbie?s Meadow on the left.

Everyone here at the Art Studio puts in time and consideration of all materials used, in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. For this project, I wanted it to be fun and interesting as well as sustainable. I decided to use a lot of our “found materials” such as painted paper cups from previous projects, reused cardboard tubes, and paper packing materials as well as sticks collected from our apple orchard.

The team helped collect a variety of found materials, collage papers, string, yarn, and tape. In order for there to be a common thread between the materials, I decided that using a simple color palette (green and brown) would be the best way to keep the mobiles looking cohesive.

 Painted found materials.

 cardboard materials, painted found materials, collage papers, and sticks

Guests were very intrigued with the building and constructing of the mobiles. They experimented with how they could use the up-cycled tape tubes and apple tree sticks. Many guests also incorporated different textures of paper and found material into their designs. Some opted to have their plant-inspired mobile be stationary instead of hanging. Guests of all ages were excited to engage with this project.

Guests explaining the process of building a mobile and holding materials

Guests setting up collage papers to construct their mobiles

Image of painted found material and small hands tying a string

Guest coloring plain cardboard tubes with green tape

I found that explaining and demonstrating the project fully was important, as there was some difficulty understanding which materials were used for what purpose at the start. Explaining the tape and hole punchers as methods of attachment was necessary and explaining what can be used as a base (with examples) was helpful.

Window display with 6 plant-inspired mobiles hanging

I was also surprised by the creativity of the guests. One guest made a rocket ship that launched a satellite, and another made a stand with mini mobiles coming off of it. This project was not only creative, but as I found, full of problem solving fun for guests of all ages.

Table with inspiring picture books and a sign that reads Welcome to Special Sunday!

by Sara Ottomano

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 9:00 am and is filed under Internship Program, Found Materials, Mixed Media, Nature, Paper, Sculpture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

The space and programming of The Carle Art Studio is supported by a generous annual sponsorship from Penguin Books For Young Readers.

We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we're excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment:

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials.

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