The Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Innovation Lab at the Children’s Museum of NH is now a permanent part of the museum and for the last few weeks has been hosting drop-in events every day. The Lab is designed to provide students, teachers and visiting families with enriching hands-on STEAM learning experiences.
“The response has been wonderful!” shared Jane Bard, President of the Children’s Museum of NH. “We’ve had schools, teachers, and kids of all ages use the STEAM Lab, and with each new interaction, we feel confident that we’ve created a useful and timely resource.” Programs in the STEAM Innovation Lab can be tailored to any group.
Learning Labs are for schools and organized groups and come with themes like “Keeping Current: Circuits” or “Mission to the Moon.” New spring and summer classes and camps for kids are being scheduled now and some of those themes include “Sci Fi Science” and “Learn to Code.” The Children’s Museum educators are gearing up to offer Professional Development opportunities for teachers with workshop themes like “NGSS Crosscutting Standards: What Are They and How Do I Incorporate Them?” The Museum is currently partnering with UNH Cooperative Extension to offer “Inquiry Teaching Methods: Grounding STEM Education Programs in Science Practices” to 17 classroom educators from throughout the region.
Debuting at the Museum’s Earth Day Celebration on April 22 will be a new “Eco Boys and Girls Science Bites” program. CMNH has partnered with Eco Boys and Girls to create a series of 12 hands-on science demonstrations and activities featuring five lovable animated characters, each designed to educate pre-K to third grade children about the Earth, sustainability and our interconnectedness. Ernie Earth preserves the natural world and its ecosystems; Lulu Love demonstrates the importance of loving herself, others and all living things; Patsy Peace resolves conflicts so that humans and other living things can exist in peaceful ways; Ray Recycle shows people ways to reuse, reduce and recycle, and Sammy Sun spreads the word about conservation and protecting natural resources. These programs will be drop-in and free with museum admission. The lessons will also be available on the Museum’s website for free use in classrooms, after school programs or by families at home.
The STEAM Innovation Lab doesn’t get much quiet time because every day the museum is open, there is a scheduled drop-in activity included with admission so that guests of all ages can experience this unique space. Some programs encourage kids and parents to work together to build a prototype of an invention. Other programs lead kids through an engineering challenge to build boats, bridges or towers. Much of the Lab’s focus is on problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions. Other days visitors will be engaged with the Lab’s technology like the 3D printer and the FLoid® Imaging System microscopes provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific, one of the Lab’s legacy sponsors. Check our daily calendar on the Museum’s website: www.childrens-museum.org
In addition to all the daily drop-in programs that are free with museum admission, there are also programs that may cost a little extra to attend, but are perfect opportunities for adults and kids to learn together. Storybook STEAM happens most Fridays 2-2:45pm and is perfect for ages 3.5-5. Kids hear STEAM-related stories, read by a Museum educator, and then work with their adults on a project inspired by the story. Storybook STEAM doesn’t require registration and is $10 per adult/child pair for Members and $12 for adult/child pair for Non-members. There are also adult and child workshops on one Saturday a month called “STEAM Saturday Workshops,” The latest one is this coming Saturday, April 16 from 10:30-11:30am. Kids and adults can create their own Shrinky Dinks Sculptures to take home! On Saturday, May 14 from 10:30-11:30am adults can learn how to code their own video games right along with their kids (ages 8-12)! The cost for workshops like these is $15 per adult/child pair for Members and $20 for Non-members. (Does not include Museum admission.)
To help facilitate these kinds of coding workshops, the Children’s Museum has partnered with local software developer, James Terry, to create the museum’s first app. The “CMNH Game Maker” app has been developed to be used on the STEAM Innovation Lab’s iPads and allows users to switch seamlessly between coding, creating art, debugging, and testing their own video games. “Our goal with CMNH Game Maker is to provide a single tool that lets students (and interested adults) have everything they need to create their first video game,” shared Museum Educator (and James’ daughter) Sarah Terry. The app is currently being Beta tested by enthusiastic museum students throughout the spring. “Sarah and I are learning a lot watching the kids use the App and it’s given us a lot of ideas for new features and ways to make it even more accessible for kids who want to turn their passion for playing video games into the skill to make them," said James.
For more details and a schedule of events in the STEAM Innovation Lab, please visit our website. Thank you to our STEAM Innovation Lab founding sponsors Thermo Fisher Scientific, The Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment Fund, Granite State Development Corporation and the Horne Family Foundation.
Anyone Can Grow Food Program at the Children’s Museum of NH
Kids grow like weeds, but you won’t find any weeds growing in the garden at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover! You will find lots of young, enthusiastic kid gardeners though, beginning this Saturday, April 16 at 10:15am. Guests of all ages will be working together to plant seeds, watch them grow, and then harvest their hard work all spring and summer.
The “Anyone Can Grow Food” program is led by University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Leslie Stevens, owner of Sidewalk Farms, and Xanthi Gray, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Education Coordinator. Working along with guests of the Museum, they turn nine raised garden beds into a thriving vegetable and herb garden.
The program begins with seed starting on Saturday, April 16 at 10:15am. Participants will learn how to start seeds indoors to get a jump-start on the growing season. Mini seed-starting greenhouses will be built where kids can grow their own Sugar Snap pea seedlings. Kids will learn about how and when to start their seeds indoors and when it’s safe to plant their seedlings outside. Everyone who participates will go home with a pack of seeds to try in their own gardens. And of course, Max the bunny will be on hand for friendly pats.
Summer planting starts a little early at CMNH with two “Anyone Can Grow Food” programs on Saturday, June 4. At 10:15am guests will gather to help plant the vegetable and herb garden and learn how to take care of their own plants. Pet Henrietta the chicken and then go home with a pack of seeds, or stick around for another program at 11:45am when visitors will learn how to create a potato tower! Did you know that if you have 6 hours of sunlight and just a 2-foot circle you can plant potatoes that will grow all summer!
To round out the season, come back for the harvest on Saturday, September 24 at 10:15am. Pick a pumpkin, pull up a carrot and dig a potato out of the gardens as staff gets ready to put them to bed for the winter. Kids will learn about composting bins and why worms are so important to keeping gardens healthy. Families will go home with a pumpkin and produce from the garden.
The Anyone Can Grow Food programs are free with Museum admission, but pre-registration is requested to help ensure enough supplies are available for each family. Please call 603-742-2002 to register for these or any programs at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
It's time to start thinking about summer internships. Read on to hear what this former intern had to say about her internship at the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.
By: Amanda Girard
I remember visiting the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth when I was younger. I remember playing in the Yellow Submarine and the fishing boat and creating works of art in what is now known as the Muse Studio. I had a lot of really great memories there.
That younger version of myself could’ve never imagined that one day I would return here as an intern and spend a summer here. Yet, here I am on both the last day of my internship and my 20th birthday!
I have really enjoyed my time at CMNH and I have successfully completed so many projects that I am proud of. I am going to college for a degree in Professional Writing with a minor in Marketing and I really have combined the two in this internship with the Marketing department.
I had a few projects that spanned the length of my entire internship (From Mid-May to the beginning of August). I wrote biographies for all of the over 50 Makers who will be part of the 2015Dover Mini Maker Faire. I had never even heard of Maker Faire until I started to work here and I think it’s just an amazing idea that will only grow as time goes on. As I was writing the biographies, I would always get excited and wound up wishing that I could be around when it happens, as I will be studying abroad in Dublin at the time. Nevertheless, I am proud that I could be a part of getting people excited for Maker Faire this year!
I also worked for a majority of the summer interviewing office staff, museum educators, and volunteers for “Meet the Staff” blog posts for this blog. I enjoyed this project a lot because I got to meet many of the wonderful staff at the Children’s Museum. Everyone here is so kind and friendly and just a lot of fun! I got to experience what it is like to work in an office setting and I saw first-hand how a group of people with many different talents can come together for a common goal: in this case, to provide an amazing experience for children and their families.
Speaking of children and their families, I got to read what they thought of CMNH firsthand with another one of my ongoing projects. One of the first things that I did in the mornings when I arrived for work was check to see if there were any new visitor surveys. I gathered almost 40 surveys over the course of the summer and compiled them. Some outcomes of this were a tally of visitor’s favorite exhibits (with the Yellow Submarine at the top of the list!) and two blog posts about what the Museum offers to older kids and how our exhibits help toddlers learn through repetition.
Other things that I accomplished during my time here include writing tweets and Facebook posts (some things that I had never really tried before!), covering events like Group Visits and the Teddy Bear Clinic and Picnic, crafting emails, tracking visitor zip codes and writing press releases for Museum events and classes.
So what have I learned from doing all of this? Well, I’ve learned another way that I can use my writing in the future and I’ve learned the basics of marketing and social media outreach. I’ve learned about the amount of research that goes into marketing a company and a brand and I’ve learned that I actually really love doing that research! I have also learned what it’s like to work in an office and how to coordinate and work together to accomplish a goal.
But the biggest thing I think I’ve learned, that I already sort of knew, was that I really like working with children and seeing their reactions of joy and excitement when they see the finished product of something we have all worked so hard to create for them. I think that that is an interest that I would really like to pursue further and I’m not sure where that will lead me. But interning at CMNH this summer solidified that the interest is there and who knows where that will lead me in the future!
I am extremely thankful for the opportunity and experience that I have had at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire this summer and for every amazing person that I have gotten the chance to meet in the process!
New space and high-tech equipment brings focus to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics
Dover, NH – (March 16, 2016) For the last few years, science, technology, engineering, art and math or STEAM, has been a hot topic when discussing early childhood education. However, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has been focused on all five areas since their inception 33 years ago. Now, with the opening of their STEAM Innovation Lab, through the generous sponsorship of Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Museum will have a dedicated space and high-tech equipment capable of supporting and engaging New Hampshire’s future innovators.
What is it?
When the STEAM Innovation Lab opens in mid-March, educators as well as children and families will be invited to use the lab to explore topics that focus on collaboration, critical thinking and making connections with the world outside the classroom. The space is designed as a prototype classroom of the future, with flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for a variety of tasks.
The room is equipped with a projector, iPads, materials for prototyping and designing as well as real tools and scientific equipment, including a 3-D printer and high-powered FLoid® Cell Imaging System provided by partner Thermo Fisher Scientific. Children can even learn how to code their own games on a “CMNH Game Maker” app designed specially for the Children’s Museum by local software developer James Terry. “We’ve already had kids ages 9 – 12 Beta test this Game Maker app in one of our camps and it was a huge success and resulted in some really fun and innovative games,” shared Jane Bard, President of the Children’s Museum of NH.
Expanding on a Well-Established Educator Resource
The Museum has a long history of engaging children in STEAM concepts: science through daily experiments; technology and engineering through Maker Clubs and the Dover Mini Maker Faire; math through their classes and camps; and art in practically everything. “The idea that STEAM concepts are out of reach for young children is false,” shared Jane Bard. “Here at CMNH we’ve been immersed in teaching these topics for many years and with the new STEAM Innovation Lab we are thrilled that we can grow as a resource to children, families and educators as we move into a more high-tech world.”
The STEAM Lab will certainly provide much needed support to NH educators. “We’ve consistently heard from teachers that they need support and training to assist them in teaching STEAM concepts” said Jane.
Fran Meffen, STEAM Academy Director at Dover Middle School, agrees. “The STEAM Innovation Lab (SIL) at the Children’s Museum of NH is a critical resource in providing immersion for children, teachers and community members into all things STEAM. STEAM project-based learning is central to the shift in education that is needed in schools to best meet the goal of having students college and career ready. The STEAM Innovation Lab will serve as an incubator for teachers, allowing them to bring their students on field trips where students will be active learners and the teachers can learn how to bring this experience back to their classrooms.”
Beyond the Classroom
While the STEAM Innovation Lab was created with an eye toward assisting NH’s educators, it is much more than that. The Museum will open the Lab to all museum guests weekly at scheduled times. “We’re planning a whole range of programs and activities that will utilize the space and equipment,” says Meredith Lamothe, Children’s Museum of NH Lead Educator. Storybook STEAM will focus on children as young as 3 years old, while STEAM Lab design challenges will be perfect for the entire family. The STEAM Saturday series will allow parents and children to collaboratively create things like ArtBots or Shrinky Dinks™ Sculptures. “It’s important to us that we continue to incorporate STEAM learning into our already fun and engaging museum environment,” says Lamothe “so that our visitors and members can see how this kind of learning is not just for a classroom setting!”
The Children’s Museum has a variety of programs in place to ensure that everyone who wants to visit the Museum, can, regardless of their economic situation. For example, families who present an EBT card at the door, can pay only $1 admission per person. This kind of all-inclusive access is crucial to leveling the playing field of educational privilege. “It is critical that we engage all children early in meaningful, participatory discovery in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts and create pathways for that learning to continue throughout their education,” said Lauren Provost, Director of Science & Technology Outreach at Dartmouth College. “The Dartmouth Office of Science & Technology Outreach is excited to support these efforts.”
An Eye on the Future
With professional development and teacher training programs with titles like “Next Generation CrossCutting Concepts: What Are They and How Do I Incorporate Them?,” free individual admission for teachers who present a teacher ID, and the free STEM video series created by the Museum and available online, there are many ways that educators can utilize the Children’s Museum as a resource. “The STEAM Innovation Lab represents our commitment to the students, teachers and families of New Hampshire in inspiring all children to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers,” says Jane Bard.
With the opening of the STEAM Lab, the Museum has an eye on the future, and that is something that has made business as well as education leaders sit up and take notice. “This will help spark our youth’s interest in STEAM while offering educators opportunities to hone their teaching skills and enhance self-directed and engaged STEAM learning in the classroom,” shared Tom Raffio, Chair of the NH State Board of Education and Chair of the New Hampshire Coalition for Business and Education. “If children are consistently exposed to active STEAM teachings early in life and they enjoy participating in these classroom lessons, it will improve their capacity and hunger for learning. If children are enthusiastic about the STEAM disciplines, it will help to develop a pipeline of inspired and engaged innovators, and benefit the next generation of New Hampshire’s workforce.”
Fran Meffen agrees. “While this is just one classroom in the Museum its impact will spread organically across NH.”
STEAM Innovation Lab founding sponsors are Thermo Fisher Scientific, The Roger R. and Theresa A. Thompson Endowment Fund, Granite State Development Corporation and the Horne Family Foundation. To learn more about the STEAM Innovation Lab click here.
A Grand Opening
The Museum has planned 3 days of programs and activities to highlight all the new STEAM Lab has to offer:
Thursday, March 17, 3-5pm: Preschool through grade 6 educators and their families are invited to a special free Educator Open House where they’ll get a chance to learn about the resources available in the STEAM Innovation Lab. An educator from Thermo Fisher Scientific will be sharing materials and Museum educators will be hosting a sample of STEAM Lab activities. Educators will leave with curriculum handouts, online resources and inspiring ideas to bring back into their classrooms. One lucky teacher will win a free class trip to the new STEAM Innovation Lab. Click here to RSVP.
Friday, March 18, 9-11am: Press are welcome. Business leaders and elected officials are welcome to this FREE networking event where we'll celebrate the opening of the new STEAM Innovation Lab. There will be short remarks, light refreshments, time for networking, a free giveaway and demonstrations of the high-tech equipment and engaging programs available now in the STEAM Lab, sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Click here to RSVP.
Friday, March 18, 11am-2pm: The public is welcome to enjoy free-with-museum-admission drop-in activities in the STEAM Innovation lab throughout the day. Educators will lead a STEAM Storytime and corresponding engineering challenge from 11am-11:45am. From 1-2pm guests can take part in an elephant toothpaste experiment and then create their own circuits. All STEAM activities are free with museum admission.
Friday, March 18, 3-7pm: Children’s Museum of NH Members of all levels are invited to the museum for a free evening of exploration and invention in the STEAM Lab. The whole museum will be open until 7pm and educators will be offering a sampling of programs and activities. Learn how to extract DNA from a strawberry, use the high-tech FLoid® Cell Imaging System to view cells, try a K’Nex engineering challenge, create an invention or prototype in the Creation Station, watch a demonstration of the 3D printer or the new CMNH Game Maker app. Click here to RSVP.
Saturday, March 19, 10am-5pm: The public is welcome to enjoy free-with-museum-admission drop-in activities in the newly opened STEAM Innovation Lab. Join a Prototype It! Workshop and test innovative ideas from 1-3pm by creating a simple prototype or model using everyday and recycled materials. Learn all about the hidden world around us by watching a demonstration with the FLoid® Cell Imaging System high-tech microscope from 3:30-4:30pm. Or sign up for our first STEAM Saturday child and adult ArtBots Workshop. In this workshop, which costs $15 per adult/child pair for Members and $20 for Non-members, participants will create and take home their own art-making robot, capable of creating all kinds of beautiful, spiraling illustrations. Call 603-742-2002 to register for the ArtBot workshop. All other programs are free with museum admission.
About the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
The not-for-profit Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is located at 6 Washington Street in Dover and offers two levels of hands-on, interactive exhibits for children from newborn to middle school. Children can explore a wide range of subjects, from dinosaurs, music and aeronautics to world cultures, art and natural history. Open year-round, the Silver LEED-certified museum specializes in creating memorable family learning experiences and works closely with schools, social service agencies and educators. The museum also hosts a variety of live performances, workshops, classes and special events for families. For more information, please call the museum at (603) 742-2002 or visit www.childrens-museum.org
Just click the links to access high resolution images of the STEAM Innovation Lab.
For a link to all the images, contact Communications Director Neva Cole.
STEAM Innovation Lab 1 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features high-tech equipment and software.
STEAM Innovation Lab 2 - Upon entering the STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH, everyone pledges to be a Scientist, a Technician, an Engineer, an Artist and a Mathematician.
STEAM Innovation Lab 3 -The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features high-tech equipment including iPads.
STEAM Innovation Lab 4 -The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features high-tech equipment including iPads.
STEAM Innovation Lab 5 --The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features high-tech equipment including iPads. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 6 -The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features high-tech equipment including iPads. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 7 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features iPads loaded with a new Game Maker coding app developed especially for the Museum by local software developer James Terry (far left) in collaboration with CMNH Educator Sarah Terry. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 8 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH features iPads loaded with a new Game Maker coding app developed especially for the Museum by local software developer James Terry (far left) in collaboration with CMNH Educator Sarah Terry. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 9 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH is equipped with a high-tech FLoid® Cell Imaging System that's capable of viewing cell structure. CMNH Educators have already extracted Strawberry DNA to examine with the system.
STEAM Innovation Lab 10 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH is equipped with a high-tech FLoid® Cell Imaging System that's capable of viewing cell structure. CMNH Educators have already extracted Strawberry DNA to examine with the system.
STEAM Innovation Lab 11 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab at the Children's Museum of NH will offer fun experiments like this "elephant toothpaste" explosion.
STEAM Innovation Lab 12 - The CMNH Game Maker coding app, featured in the new STEAM Innovation Lab and developed especially for the Museum by local software developer James Terry, gives kids a taste of what it's like to develop their own games from flow charts to animation!
STEAM Innovation Lab 13 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is designed as a prototype classroom of the future, with flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for a variety of tasks.
STEAM Innovation Lab 14 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab will be a great resource and destination for area classes throughout New Hampshire.
STEAM Innovation Lab 15 - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has many programs, classes and workshops scheduled to take full advantage of the new STEAM Innovation Lab.
STEAM Innovation Lab 16 - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has many programs, classes and workshops scheduled to take full advantage of the new STEAM Innovation Lab.
STEAM Innovation Lab 17 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is designed as a prototype classroom of the future, with flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for a variety of tasks, high-tech equipment and a screen/projector system. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 18 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is designed as a prototype classroom of the future, with flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for a variety of tasks, high-tech equipment and a screen/projector system. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 19 - During February 2016 Vacation Camp, a group of kids ages 6-12 got to beta test the CMNH Game Maker coding app in an exciting 3-day camp. Photo courtesy of Joan Oparowski.
STEAM Innovation Lab 20 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is designed as a prototype classroom of the future, with flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for a variety of tasks, high-tech equipment and a screen/projector system.
STEAM Innovation Lab 21 - This ArtBot is just one of the many inventions kids and families can work on creating during the STEAM Saturday workshop series.
STEAM Innovation Lab 22 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is stocked with a 3D printer which will be utilized by visitors of all ages to design and print their own creations, like this Yellow Submarine pendant, designed in honor of the Children's Museum of NH's popular exhibit.
STEAM Innovation Lab 23 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is stocked with a 3D printer which will be utilized by visitors of all ages to design and print their own creations, like this Yellow Submarine pendant, designed in honor of the Children's Museum of NH's popular exhibit.
STEAM Innovation Lab 24 - The new STEAM Innovation Lab is stocked with a 3D printer which will be utilized by visitors of all ages to design and print their own creations, like this Yellow Submarine pendant, designed in honor of the Children's Museum of NH's popular exhibit.
STEAM Innovation Lab 25 - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
STEAM Innovation Lab 26 - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
STEAM Innovation Lab 27 - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
STEAM Innovation Lab 28 -- The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
STEAM Innovation Lab 29 -- The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
STEAM Innovation Lab 30 -- The Children's Museum of New Hampshire has a long history of engaging young kids in every aspect of STEAM through classes, workshops and camps.
Gallery 6, the space reserved for art inside the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, will have a new exhibition opening on March 5 and featuring art from many different cultures. MOSAIC: Exploring Our Multicultural Neighborhood will be paired with a special celebration of cultural exploration on Saturday, March 12, where guests can taste North African cooking, enjoy traditional Bhutan dancing and music, try their hand at Chinese brush painting and take part in a community art project.
The art on view in MOSAIC will include photographs of immigrants and refugees living in New Hampshire taken by Becky Field from her book Different Roots, Common Dreams, which came out in the Fall of 2015. Photographer David Hiley, who traveled to Haiti with a group of Seacoast, NH medical professional volunteers in coordination with the Haitian Health Foundation, will present his series of Haitian “selfies” of children and parents. “My eye was drawn to the tension I saw between wrenching poverty and the vibrancy and dignity of these children,” shared David. “Allowing the children to take selfies captured the curiosity and joy common to children everywhere.” Also on view will be photographs of children from China taken by retired pediatrician Skip Small and a glimpse into the life of a child from Japan curated by Sayaka and Seth Blewitt. Also on view will be selected dolls from the Museum’s collection of dolls from around the world.
The special celebration of MOSAIC promises to be just as diverse as the cultures represented in the art itself. The event will be from 11am-2pm on Saturday, March 12 at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover. Guests who come in traditional cultural costumes (super heroes and princess costumes do not apply) will receive half-off their individual admission. From 10:45am-Noon European classically trained chef Patrice Gerard will demonstrate North African cooking and guests can taste his vegetarian tagine with couscous. Becky Field will be on hand to talk about her photography project and her work documenting cultural, ethnic and religious diversity in NH. At 11:30am and 1pm dancers from Bhutan will demonstrate traditional dance and music in the Museum’s Muse Studio. David Hiley will be walking around the Museum taking “selfies” of guests who come dressed in their traditional costumes. Runjuan Huang will demonstrate Chinese brush painting and guests can try their hand at that or help create a community weaving project, which, when completed, will be installed on the exterior of the Children’s Museum. The opening celebration events are free with regular museum admission.
The MOSAIC exhibition will be on view through Tuesday, May 31 and is sponsored by Optima Bank and Trust, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the Fuller Foundation. In addition to the art on view and special celebration event, every two weeks the Museum educators will focus on the cultures of different countries and feature country themed crafts and activities in the Muse Studio. The countries, in order of appearance, will include Tanzania, Peru, Haiti, Iceland, Japan, Pakistan and Canada. At the end of May, art projects and facts about all seven countries will be displayed together in the Muse Studio.
As always, no admission fee is required to view the art in Gallery 6. Regular admission applies for families who wish to also explore the rest of the Museum.
Un MOSAICO de Culturas para ser Exploradas en el Museo del Niño de New Hampshire
Galería 6, el espacio reservado para el arte en el Museo del Niño de New Hampshire, tendrá la apertura de una nueva exhibición el 5 de marzo, y presentará el arte de diversas culturas. MOSAICO: Explorando nuestra comunidad Multicultural, simultáneamente llevará a cabo una celebración especial de la exploración cultural, el sábado 12 de marzo, en donde los asistentes podrán degustar la cocina del Norte de África, disfrutar el baile y la música tradicional de Bután, probar sus destrezas con el pincel en la pintura China y formar parte de un proyecto de arte comunitario.
El arte visto en MOSAICO incluirá fotografías de inmigrantes y refugiados que viven en New Hampshire tomadas del libro Raíces Diferentes, Sueños en Común de Becky Field, el cual salió en el otoño del 2015. El fotógrafo David Hiley, quien viajó a Haití con un grupo del litoral, profesionales médicos voluntarios de NH en coordinación con la Fundación Sanitara de Haití, presentarán las series ‘selfies’ de niños y padres Haitianos. “Me llamo la atención lo que vi entre la desgarradora pobreza y la vitalidad y dignidad de esos niños”, “comentó David”. “Permitiendo capturar la curiosidad y alegría en común que todos los niños tenían por todas partes”. Asimismo serán expuestas fotografías de niños de China, tomadas por el pediatra jubilado Skip Small y se vislumbrará la vida de un niño de Japón capturado por Sayaka y Seth Blewitt. También estarán en muestra muñecas de alrededor del mundo seleccionadas de la colección del Museo.
La celebración especial de MOSAICO, promete ser tan diversa como las culturas presentadas en el arte mismo. El evento se llevará a cabo de 11am-2pm el sábado 12 de marzo en el Museo del Niño de New Hampshire en Dover. Los asistentes que vengan en sus trajes típicos (disfraces de superhéroes y princesas no aplican) pagarán la mitad en su admisión individual. De 10:45 am-a mediodía el chef Patrice Gerard capacitado en Europa, hará una demostración de la cocina del Norte de África y los invitados podrán degustar su tajine vegetariana con cuscús. Becky Field estará accesible para hablar de su proyecto fotográfico y su trabajo de documentación cultural, étnico y la diversidad religiosa en NH. A las 11:30am y 1pm bailarines de Bután harán una demostración de su baile y de su música tradicional en el Estudio Muse. David Hiley caminará alrededor del Museo tomando “selfies” a los invitados que vengan vestidos con sus trajes típicos. Runjuan Huang hará una demostración de la pintura China con pincel y los asistentes podrán también intentar hacerlo o ayudar a crear el proyecto comunitario, el cual, una vez completado será colocado en el exterior de Museo del Niño. La apertura de la celebración de los eventos son gratuitos con su admisión regular del museo.
La exhibición MOSAICO estará a la vista hasta el martes, 13 de mayo y es patrocinada por Optima Bank and Trust, el Consejo Estatal de Artes de New Hampshire y la Fundación Fuller. Además de la exposición de arte y la celebración especial, cada dos semanas los educadores del Museo harán manualidades y actividades culturales de diferentes países en el estudio Muse. Los países, en orden de aparición, incluirán Tanzania, Perú, Haití, Islandia, Japón , Pakistán y Canadá. A Finales de mayo, proyectos y situaciones acerca de los 7 países estarán juntos en exhibición en el Estudio Muse.
by Taylore Kelly
Q. Your pieces are very whimsical, light and energetic. The color is phenomenal and seems ultra intuitive. The bird theme is enticing. How do you bring your creatures to life?
A. I have no preconceived notions or ideas when starting a painting. I start with the white of the paper. I begin by laying colors down rapidly. I allow the paint to dry. Once the paint has dried I turn the paper in all directions and spend a good amount of time looking at the colors and shapes until I "see" something. I begin by making the first marks with a pen. One mark informs the next until the drawing is completed. My process is similar to looking at clouds and finding hidden creatures. I allow the colors and shapes to speak to me. I am always in a state of wonder when i see what is revealed. My process is very exciting for me because I never know what is going to show up. I hope the viewers have enjoyed the exhibition.
Q. Your work has an extremely deep, calming and electric ambiance to them. They drew me right in and I wished I was there, at those places. It should be this way was a beautiful title. What did you mean by that title?
A. Most of my images bring together elements from many photographs. It should be this way is different in that it began and ended with a single photograph. I am always at a loss to explain how my images come to be. Most of my life is consumed with the search for clarity out of a sea of objective data. Creating these pieces allows me to go to a totally different place where things just happen. This piece happened to an image that began with considerable natural beauty. It moved from a place I experienced to a place the way it might be had the image come in a dream thus "It should be this way."
Q. I noticed the title Reverie, was thematic in your work, and know that definition to be a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts. Your work actually drew me in and gave me a relaxed far away feeling. This happened before I read the title. Did you plan on engaging and drawing the viewer in or are these beautiful, colorful pieces about something else?
A. Thank you very much for your kind comments. Your observations concerning my “Reverie” series are certainly spot on. The abstract pastel “Reverie 5” reflects a calm and playful disposition and invites the viewer to enter and explore a world of colors, lines, and forms. While based on observing and experiencing real landscapes like my more representational paintings, the oil “Reverie” is an imaginary landscape. Like the pastel “Reverie 5” it can be seen as an “inner landscape,” perhaps a bit more enigmatic or mystical than the abstract pastel. Some of my artwork is consciously or subconsciously influenced by my lifelong engagement with literature, especially lyric poetry.
Q. Your work has a very tranquil quality about it. It definitely reminds me of pointillism. It seems one would have to have a lot of patience to work the way you do. It's beautiful and admirable. Noticing that one of the pieces is called "Balance" made sense to me, because your work felt very balanced.
Each one of your paintings has flowing clouds in them and a cup, what were you thinking about when these were created?
A. These pieces are part of my China Series. My grandmother emigrated from England. I have quite a collection of you china, even a tea set of Royal Dalton. The thread of the environment and its destruction and fragmentation has run through my work as an obsession for a number of years. I have trucks and heavy equipment destroying the landscape. Rather than bulldozing my message through (which is not always very well received) I thought I'd try to tackle this with humor and a lighter touch. I think the china makes a good jumping off point. Each piece of china in Balance has a different environment. The teapot has an underworld with brightly colored fish, another flamingos in the everglades, caribou on the tundra and the plate a snake in the grass. These fragile environments very precariously balanced. It also reflects in my personal life an effort to bring everything into balance. The painting Cup with a Desert Landscape on a Snake Table Cloth deals with are efforts to reduce nature’s beautiful landscapes into a item for sale just a decoration, not experienced firsthand and in danger. The painting Moose Cup With a Eurasian Milfoil Table Cloth looks at invasive plants and the destruction they cause. The Eurasian milfoil just one of the many plants. These plants are transported on the propellers of the boats to other bodies of water not infected. I’m not sure if the bright orange and yellow equipment bulldozing the landscape or the more playful china images are more effective in getting my point across. Multiple approaches reach hopefully more people.
Q. Where do your ideas come from? The relationship between the animals and their environment and each other is a force to be reckoned with! I found them so riveting and beautiful. What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can't live without when making art?
A. Thanks for contacting me. I’m flattered and I’m glad you like the work. I am always asked “where do my ideas come from?” Whats funny is I mentally shrug my shoulders when people ask that question and think to myself. …. Ummm “I don’t know” However when I see other peoples work I think, “Where the heck did they get that idea from?”.. So I do understand why people ask. I really don’t have a surefire process for my ideas. They are a mix of so many of the artists I’ve admired since my school days. Surreal artists, my mentor Marvin Mattelson, and Illustrators I’ve loved. But we’re also bombarded with imagery every day. I’m always playing with images in my mind. So If I see something I like… an animal or a plant, I just play with it in my mind and on the drawing pad until I get a juxtaposition that intrigues me. Sometimes it’s quick and sometimes its not. The quick ideas are few and far between. Is there something I can’t live without when making my art? Yes, GOOD BRUSHES! I have many many brushes. Old brushes get used to create textures. Some brushes are stiff, some are soft but when I get towards the finish I need good brushes that hold their shape.
Q. There are times when a subject has trouble coming to life but clearly this is not the case with your beautiful theme of trees. They have a real mysterious quality to them. How has your style changed over the years?
A. I have always drawn trees but started with line etchings from sketches and now use many mediums from ink to dry pigments. I used to render each twig but am starting to let the viewer fill in what is not complete, adding to the mystery. Thank you for a great question!
Q. Your work of art in the show really draws you in with the energy of what appears to be a Phoenix like creature? The title Evolat is latin for "to fly"? Is this correct? What was your creative process when creating this painting?
A. Evolat is indeed a Phoenix, and was commissioned by a local woman who has since become a very close and special friend. The piece is actually very special to me, as the timing of her reaching out to ask me to create it, was just as I was beginning to 'rise out of the ashes' myself after a failed attempt of starting my own business, which I had literally put everything I had into. It was one of my first commissions of 2015, which has been my most successful year as an Artist thus far (2016 is certainly building off of that momentum). So the piece itself is representative of having to sometimes reach your lowest lows, to experience your highest highs. If you look very closely, within the wings, you'll find the quote "Alis volat propriis" which is a favorite of the client, along with her love of the fictitious bird and triumphs in her own life challenges, ultimately her inspiration to commission the piece. Another reason this piece is also special to me, is because I had actually attempted to paint one a few years ago, and was so unsatisfied with it that I covered over it, and had always been wanting to try again, it's rare that a custom commission is something your excited to create. This piece was certainly a challenge, I achieved the affect of the fire by using different smudging techniques and washing out areas with very diluted paint. This particular piece of art was created from a place of found solace after experiencing one of the most challenging times in my life (so far), and I wanted to challenge myself to achieve something in this painting that I previously could not.
Q. Your creatures all seem so dynamic and happy and alive. Very energetic and bold! Is there a work of art you have done that you are particularly proud of? If so why?
A. My creatures are happy because I was not when I made them. It's like a kind of therapy; I force the smile out with bubbly cheery critters and they can cheer me up, and hopefully cheer up other people too. I also imagined the dark cold winter approaching, and because I get depressed in the winter, I thought everyone could use a little brightening up when they drive through downtown. So far its worked for me! I am most proud of the public artwork that I've done. It's such an honor to be featured in a place that anyone can see my art without having to seek it out, walk through a door, or pay a fee. My mural at the Dover Skatepark was my #1, but now it's definitely the Children's Museum!
Q. I must ask if you have bunnies? There seems to be a theme in your paintings with these furry creatures. These two paintings show such a strong character in each and every one of their faces. What is it about Rabbits/Bunnies that inspires you so much? They are beautiful, I love them!
A. About what inspires me about my rabbits...it's really impossible to explain. The mystery of it leads me to include them in my work either as the main subject or as an antidote. Sometimes they are a vehicle for pure fantasy and sometimes just an element of wild nature as a contrast to the human. But if I were to figure it all out and explain it what purpose would that serve? Only to flatten out and limit the possibilities for myself and the viewer.
So that's my paultry answer. I really don't know!
Q. The texture in your paintings is quite vivid and draws the viewer in. Is there an element of art you enjoy working with the most?
A. For me, my creative work is always joyful and rewarding. I have a “Russian soul,” and my art is infused with my heritage and my unique perspective on the world around me. In my contemporary work, I integrate traditional themes with the freedom and exuberance of new artistic forms. My contemporary work is always well researched and filled with diverse traditional themes and styles combined with the freedom and exuberance of Constructivist forms. My ultimate goal is always to satisfy my creative impulse by producing lasting works of great imagination, strength, universality, dignity and spirituality.
The Children’s Museum of NH will host its second annual Pajama Day on Friday, February 19 from 10am-5pm. Kids and parents are invited to wear pajamas to play in the museum and enjoy special night-themed activities.
“Winter is a hard time for kids and for parents,” explained Museum President Jane Bard. “We started Pajama Day last winter as a chance to break up the monotony and it was a big hit with our guests. We thought it would be fun to do it again and have a day where everyone – including our staff – could wear cozy pajamas to the museum. Our education team has some great night-themed activities including a special astronomy project about the moon! We are all looking forward to seeing everyone come in wearing colorful pj’s, slippers and robes!”
During Pajama Day, guests can learn about nocturnal animals and the sounds they make, listen to night-time themed story reading, make owl crafts in the Muse Studio, and more. All activities are included in the museum’s regular admission price: $10 for children and adults over 12 months of age and $9 for seniors (65+). Admission is always free for Children’s Museum Members, and reservations are not required.