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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

Emma's Special Sunday: Unexpected Perspectives

Recently one of the Art Studio's Summer Interns, Emma Hubacz, designed a Special Sunday project for museum guests. She planned the event, sorted and prepared the materials, and introduced visitors to the project throughout the day. The following is her description of the day.

Inspired by the new David Wiesner exhibition, David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling, this Special Sunday Project took the unexpected perspectives found in his illustrations to inspire guests to make wire sculpture creatures using pipe cleaners.

I began the project by looking through Wiesner’s books and came across Art and Max, in which one of the characters loses all of his color, leaving only a walking outline of himself. I was struck by the potential of that image, and how interesting it would be for participants to make their own three dimensional drawings. From that idea I started experimenting with pipe cleaners as a tool for “drawing” three dimensional creatures.

In order to inspire our Special Sunday guests, I created different abstract landscapes for their creatures, and asked them to imagine what could live in each one. The ones that guests seemed to gravitate towards most were a blue landscape I painted and had installed over a window that made a watery seascape, and a light box which I made out of a cardboard box filled with sparkly objects and battery tea candles. In the side of the light box was a peephole with pink cellophane over it to create a magical interior landscape that guests could access through the open top.

The one I had the most fun making was the blue window landscape. I used large sheets of color diffusing paper and a water bottle full of liquid water color to create the mottled spray effect, which when hung on the window created a translucent watery world. I hung a rod above it which guests were encouraged to hang their work from to submerge their creatures in the landscape. I had also made a stacked Styrofoam “mountain” and a “jungle” out of wooden pegs with string tied between them.

Guests were immediately drawn to the variety of pipe cleaners laid out and very enthusiastically grabbed handfuls of different sizes and colors to begin experimenting. I had more than one adult comment on how exciting the project was, despite how the resources were limited to pipe cleaners. Having the abundance of colors and sizes laid out made them into something new and enticing.

I was happy to see the variety of creatures these landscapes seemed to inspire! I was very excited to see many of the children running back and forth to the light box to see the different creatures they made in in there. By the end of the day, there were flowers and birds in the jungle and all sorts of sea creatures hanging in the window. What was nice about the project was that it was suitable for everyone, groups of all ages came and enjoyed experimented with the wire.



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. 


by Sara Ottomano

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 11:04 am and is filed under Internship Program, Special Events, 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.

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