There is an awesome class hiding at the Triana Public Library called Art at Flamingo Park. This is an art appreciation class geared towards children. Jane Robinson, the creator, found a way to teach art and play with different mediums in the art world. And another great thing about this class? It’s free!
Art at Flamingo Park Origins
Robinson started the group in the September of 2017, after wanting to find a way to get her preschooler more playdates. She has a BA in Art History and had worked as a Collection Manager for Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art. Deciding to have an ‘art playdate’, she invited anyone she knew to come to Flamingo Park and paint.
As the weather became cooler, Blanche Orr, the Triana librarian, invited the group inside. Orr then helped Robinson get a grant from the Huntsville Library Foundation in 2018 to help fund art supplies. Then, Linda Orton, with a BA in Three Dimensional Studies and Masters in teaching and special education, came on as an assistant. What had started as a playdate had moved on to become a true children’s art appreciation course.
How The Class Works
I took my son this Monday to a class at the library with the ladies. The group had begun with preschool aged kids and has now gained many homeschoolers, making the ages range typically from 5-12. My son was the youngest at 4, but had no trouble keeping up.
Robinson started the class by telling us about the week’s author, James Whistler. She had the ‘students’ pick out where his home was on a map and told them a little about his history and his art. This was a short few minutes, keeping everyone’s attention and engaging the kids at the same time.
After this, she showed the kids the project they would be working on. In this case, it was a painting of a peacock, inspired by Whistler’s painting Art and Money. She gave each child a plate with the different colors needed, a brush, and a water color paper. Robinson then walked the kids through the steps to create the bird.
Two of the students, including mine, painted their own thing. She encouraged this, stating she wanted fun and personality, not perfection. You then can put a picture of the art that inspired the lesson with the artist’s name on the back of yours. Several moms said they had started keeping all the work in a binder at home.
One of the coolest parts was watching Robinson ask the kids questions from prior classes and the kids knowing the answers. They were absorbing the information!
When Does it Meet?
This class has several time periods and age groups to choose from. The young children’s class is Monday and Thursday at 10:30 right now and in June, will be every Wednesday at 1pm. There is also an adult class for 10 and up, that is held every month or every other month. Robinson ask that you make a reservation for the adult classes, so she has enough supplies. All are at the Triana library, with Flamingo Park nearby.
I would highly suggest packing a lunch and stopping by after making a cool new art project and learning something new!
Art In Flamingo Park Details
When: Kids class Monday & Thursday at 10:30 AM, summer & adult classes also available
Where: Triana Public Library (map) | 256-772-9943
Cost: FREE, reservation required in advance for some classes
Art at Flamingo Park on Facebook
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