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

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  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Making Art Together

Art Olympics

Recently two of the Art Studio Summer Interns, Helen Austin and Leah Henry, designed and led a Special Sunday activity for our Museum guests inspired by the Olympics. The following is their report on their process and the event day.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Step aside Rio – The Art Olympics is going for the gold! About halfway through the 2016 Olympics, we hosted an artistic competition in the Art Studio for a Special Sunday program. We created “events” that our visitors could participate in, and while our brainstorming list was long, we settled on four events. These events incorporated stamping, drawing, sculpting, and even flying techniques!

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

1st Event: Stamping the Olympic Rings

We wanted to include the Olympic rings in the events not only because it is the most recognizable symbol of the games, but also because it is so vividly colorful. For this event, visitors were given a black sheet of construction paper to stamp their rings. On the table were stamp pads filled with tempera paint (blue, black, red, yellow, and green) and a collection of circular found objects, including bottle caps, cardboard tubes, marker caps, and much more. To help keep the paint on their designated stamp pads, we organized the found objects by color. We found that this really helped keep the paints from mixing on the pads.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Many visitors went above and beyond the Olympic ring configuration to stamp designs of their own. The different sized circular stamping materials helped encouraged visitors to create their own interpretation of the Rings. White gel pens or markers were a great addition on the table to contrast with the black paper.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

2nd Event: Sculpt an Olympic Athlete

What we found most spectacular watching the Olympics is how the athletes can move, twist, and control their bodies when they are competing. For the second Art Olympic event, we wanted visitors to explore the movements of bodies through twisting and bending wire into their favorite Olympic athlete, or any body shape they desired.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Guests worked with an assortment of pipe cleaners and separated computer wires. We included a photo collage of contemporary images of Olympic athletes in motion as a visual reference and point of inspiration. We were worried guests would quickly twist a body shape and move on, however most guests expanded on their wire athletes by combining other materials.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

 

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

3rd Event: Design a Distance Flier

Like the second event showed, the Olympic Games are all about athletes moving their bodies. We took that to heart for the third event of the Art Olympics in which the guests designed a paper airplane and then stepped outside on our patio to see how far their airplanes flew. Who said the Art Olympics can’t be athletic, too?

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

We encouraged guests to use crayons and rubbing plates to create a design on their airplane prior to flight. Once they were ready to fly, visitors stepped up to the start line of our runway, paused for a nerve settling deep breath, and let them fly! We recorded each distance so visitors could see how their airplanes measured up with others.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

4th Event: Medal Ceremony

After completing in all three events of the Art Olympics, guests ended their Olympic day how every Olympian dreams: wearing gold in the medal ceremony. Guests decorated cardstock medals using metallic silver and gold colored pencils. With proud hearts and hands full of creations, our guests left the Art Studio wearing their personalized medals.

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

As we wrap up our first Art Olympics, we are already thinking about what new events will be added next time and how we can experiment with new materials. But for now, we will reminisce on the great Art Olympians of our time!

 

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Art Olympics | Making Art With Chilren | The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

 

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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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