Ah, peak summer — barbecues, picnics, outdoor fun. Who says snacks need to be just for eating? Gather your leftovers, your favorites, whatever you got — and let’s have an Art-BQ! We even have a kit of supplies to help you get started.

Project 1 — Art with Personality

Try your hand at making art with a personality. Popsicle sticks, fabric, and markers are all you need for some fun dolls. Bending pipe cleaners is a great way to explore gesture. Construction paper and pompoms can make funny faces or you can use construction paper alone. These are just a few ways to make people with your kit.

What do you need? Compile a stack of supplies you’d like to use to make people, like popsicle sticks, fabric, and markers. Try to choose 2–4 items for your first experiment. Then choose a different 2–4 for your second experiment.

Try this? You can challenge yourself to make the funniest faces or the most active people. Or you can make faces of aliens and monsters. What is the silliest person you can make? The scariest monster?

Project 2 — Spice up your wardrobe

Summer is the time to spice up your wardrobe. Pipe cleaners and beads made from straws can look fetching. Pompoms can also be added to pipe cleaners to make bracelets or necklaces. Hats and crowns can come together in a snap. What wearables will you create?

What do you need? When making wearables pick something to serve as the base. Pipecleaners or construction paper can both be great. Other items, like pom poms or sequins, can make great decoration.

Try this? The bag the kit comes in can make a great base for a hat as well. What is the tallest hat you can make? The funniest? The fanciest? What other wearables can you make?

Projects 3 — Pinwheels and Windsocks

Sculptures are fun to make from any combination of materials. Being outside is an important part of summer; a pinwheel can make those outdoor days brighter. The envelope with some creativity can make a windsock. Add things you have at home, like corks or clothespins. Brads can turn something boring into something moveable.

What do you need? The sky’s the limit with sculptures at home. The key is to choose the right tool to keep the parts together. A paper sculpture need only be affixed with staples or tape. Heavier items like popsicle sticks and pom poms work best with glue. Experiment with the materials before starting your sculpture.

Try this? Many artists make sculptures that move like mobiles and stabiles. You can also try making a sculpture that makes sounds. What other senses can you enliven with your sculpture?

Project 4 — Alternative tools for painting

You may think paintbrushes are only one way to paint. Explore what other tools from your kit can be used to apply paint. The surface you paint on can be transformed with foil or tissue paper. Or you can make a translucent masterpiece by painting on the clear vinyl.

What do you need? Compile as many non-paintbrush tools as you can. Add paper, watercolors, and water. You can also compile as many non-paper surfaces to paint on. Add brushes, watercolors, and water.

Try this? Painting without a brush can help you explore abstract painting. You can get a better feel for pattern and texture.

Family Days are made possible by PNC with additional support from The Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, The R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, and the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation.

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Enriching lives through modern and contemporary art

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