Kids enjoy art history at Suffolk libraries

Published 10:34 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Suffolk Public Library is teaching children about art history with interactive lessons on creativity.

The Art History Appreciation program is for children ages 8-14, with lessons held at North Suffolk and Morgan Memorial libraries. Lessons began in March on select Tuesdays, and will continue with hour-long lessons on April 18 at North Suffolk and April 25 at Morgan Memorial, both starting at 6:30 p.m.

Library elementary age services supervisor Madelyn Kresinske started the program to provide a creative outlet for local elementary school students and homeschoolers. She said many of the families have homeschooled children, and scheduling creative opportunities for them can be difficult.

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“Homeschool families want creative outlets for their kids,” she said. “We’ve tapped into a community need.”

The April lessons will discuss Pablo Picasso and explore shapes through the Cubism art movement. Children will learn from brief PowerPoint presentations focusing on fun and interesting stories from art history.

“I try to pick out those really fun and interesting facts,” she said.

Children will make self portraits using various shapes in “roll a Picasso.” Dice rolls will determine head, ears, mouth, and eyeball shapes for the portraits. The children will place their creations on backgrounds they make with arts and crafts that reflect their individual interests.

Kresinske said art is about more than what many people assume. Cubism, for instance, touches on mathematics through geometry.

“If you really break it down, I think art combines everything that’s going on in the world,” she said.

The lessons touched on scientific discovery in March, when the program educated children on 30,000-year-old creativity with cave paintings.

Children made their own paint by crushing chalk “so they would understand that paint did not just come in a bottle,” and drew on library walls prepared for painting, Kresinske said.

Ten-year-old Jayden Scott “created a whole story about the dinosaurs and the volcano,” she said. His mother, Christine Scott, was thrilled to see him so excited by something other than video games.

“It was exactly what I wanted them to get out of it,” Kresinske said.

The program will continue in May with lessons about artist Georgia O’Keefe, when children will make three-dimensional flowers with construction paper. These flowers will be glued to painted paper “like they’re blooming out of the painting,” Kresinske said.

She hopes to continue the program throughout the summer.

“As long as we keep getting people,” she said. “I’m already starting to plan those.”

Registration is required for those interested. For more information, call 514-7323 or visit