Kids, ages two to seven, can train to become mini art masters starting in September at the Muscatine Art Center. The new program replaces Art for Tots which was geared toward preschool aged children. Mini Masters opens up the opportunity for kids through first grade to join in creating art. “This past summer I had quite a few kids return after kindergarten asking to join Tots class,” says Muscatine Art Center Program Coordinator, Teresa Stenstrup. She continues, “I saw how much the older kids still enjoyed the class, but knew that they wouldn’t have the chance to participate after the school year started. We still wanted to include them in the fun so we decided to change up the programming a bit by offering class after school on Thursdays.”

Mini Masters will be held Wednesdays 9:30-10:15 am and Thursdays 3:30-4:15 pm. Each class will include a story and two art projects to go along with it. Each session is $4.50 or you can purchase a five class punch card for $20.00. In the month of September, we will read stories featured in the Go Figure! exhibit, beginning with The Quilt on September 6-7, when we’ll make a quilt inspired coaster and Goldilocks and the Three Bears on September 27-28, when we’ll make a paper plate bear. In October, we’ll have a Monster Mash and in November we’ll read Silly Stories.

For children ages five to fourteen, an upcoming Kid’s Saturday Workshop class includes “The Muscatine Block” on Saturday, September 16. Kids will work together to collage and recreate a block in Muscatine in the style of artist, Romare Bearden. On Saturday, October 21, kids will make a calaca (skeleton) banner for Dia de los Muertos. Taught by Julie Lear, our Saturday classes are held once per month from 1:30-2:30 pm. The cost is $5.00 per class or $4.50 for Friends members.

Kids and families can also join us on Thursday, September 14 for “National Live Creative Day” with a free event from 4:00-6:00 pm. You don’t have to be a master artist to live creative, just take the time to invent, discover and dream. By expressing our passions and living creative lives, we experience the world.  During the event, we’ll paint rocks, which can be hidden around town as part of the “Muscatine Rocks” project. Families will also have time to explore the Go Figure! exhibit.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. Please contact Teresa, Program Coordinator, with any questions about our upcoming programs at 563-263-8282 or by email at tstenstrup@muscatineiowa.gov.