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Shirrin's Special Sunday: Art Gardeners

Recently the Art Studio’s Spring Term Intern, Shirrin Khozouee, a senior at UMass Amherst, 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.

For this Special Sunday project I was inspired by the spring flowers blossoming in the gardens outside. I wanted to encourage the guests to not only think about the plants and flowers that grow in gardens, but also the bugs and critters that live in them. 

I picked out some books about gardens, flowers, and insects to help guests get inspired.

When trying to decide what materials to use, I decided that tissue paper would allow us to limit the materials, in order to inspire creativity, and would also provide a variety of textures and techniques for guests to experiment with (crumpling, tearing, cutting, folding…). In addition to tissue paper, the materials included a variety of sticks (chopsticks, Popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers…), foam trays as base, corks, scissors, and tacky glue.  

The staff made some sparse and intricate examples to show the guests the range of possibilities.

We encourage individual exploration but we also try to promote collaboration. I thought it would be fun to give the guests the opportunity to contribute to a community garden.

I made the bases by stacking square and rectangle shaped foam boards, and created a “grass” border using colored paper. 

We experimented with the materials and brainstormed different techniques.

Our community garden included a variety of colors, flowers, insects, and wooden installations!