Kids make big art outdoors

The Blanden Memorial Art Museum is offering local children a chance to get in touch with their creativity this fall by offering afternoon and weekend art classes at the museum.

The Exploring Art After School classes are offered on two Thursday afternoons per month for students in kindergarten through second grade as an introduction to various forms of art and art materials.

The Saturday Exploring the World of Art classes are open to students in third through sixth grades.

Thursday afternoon’s class of Art After School brought five students to the Blanden where they used drawing boards outdoors to sketch enlarged versions of the flowers that surrounded them on the museum’s front lawn.

“Today they are learning to enlarge things,” said Linda Flaherty, Blanden art educator. “They’re working on maximizing flowers. When they are finished, they’ll trace them with white crayon and color them with oil pastels.”

Noelle Baley, 5, of Fort Dodge, found a spot on her own and carefully traced the lines of her pencil drawing on black paper in white.

“It’s that flower right there,” she said, pointing to a pink petunia growing in the landscape.

While she drew and made a large version of the small flower, Baley offered that she had some plans for her color scheme when it came time to add the oil pastel.

“It’s going to be a rainbow flower,” she said.

Amelia Stephan, 5, also of Fort Dodge, found a spot near a rose bush where she sat to draw a flower.

“It’s a pink rose,” she said. “But not really. I will make it a different color. But I don’t know what yet.”

Justin Ranthum, 8, of Fort Dodge, took a detailed approach to his drawing as he observed the lines and spots on the blossom he was drawing.

“It has all these little lines and a white circle in the middle,” he said. “I like outlining it. I’m going to make it purple.”

“Today’s class has been all about nature art,” said Flaherty. “It’s all about getting outdoors. Saturday we will have the older kids going over to the Smeltzer House to draw landscapes.”

There are still openings for both Thursday and Saturday classes. To register a child for a future class, contact the Blanden at 573-2316. Cost is $10 for museum members and $12 for nonmembers.