Fall programming at the Esplanade has something for every age between two and 17, with adult programming starting again in 2024.

For ages 2-5, there is an eight-week sensory art class for tots and preschoolers.

“Everything that would be exploratory,” said education co-ordinator Dayna Walls. “It is process driven and less product based. More along the lines of learning how to utilize materials, developing dexterity and using imagination to take small parts to create something larger. They normally do three different projects per week and will rotate between three different stations, so each child gets to try something new.”

During the first week, projects are wind chime mobiles, painting with marbles and potion making with citrus. Tots classes take place Tuesday and Thursday mornings, popular with stay-at-home parents and guardians, or Thursday evenings, which are better for parents who work during the day. These are classes where adults attend with their child.

The professional day (PD) and fall break programming are for ages 5-12, similar to the summer art camps.

“Those are also messy, exploratory, process-driven programming,” stated Walls.

As they are a full day, the instructor takes kids on short field trips to TREX Space, the library or The Post to pick something up and bring back to use in a creation.

“Those different props get the kids imagination working,” said Walls. “In the winter it gets cold, so it’s just a quick walk.”

Kids use the theatre to run around on rain or snow days, along with visiting the art and museum for inspiration.

A new program is being implemented called Art Explorers for ages 5-6 on Saturday mornings, which is unparented.

“I’m really excited about this program. It’s a bridge program between where sensory arts ends and our Esplanauts begins.” Esplanauts are product driven and proceed step-by-step, and there had been a disconnect for some kids coming out of sensory and into Esplanauts. Art Explorers will be a bridge program, designed to get kids used to a more structured type of plan and class.

The Art Explorer lesson plans were created to tie in with various books, bringing in a literacy element.

“We are working with the library. They read the book, look at the artwork, talk about the book and create artwork based on it.”

Following the 5-6 program on Saturdays mornings, are the Esplanauts for ages 7-9 at noon and then for ages 10-12 later in the afternoon.

“This is the first time we’ve adjusted the ages slightly. They used to be 6-8 and 9-12. Now they are more specific. (The instructor) can get into more detail with these kids because they are slightly older.”

The four-week Against the Grain for teens runs on Thursday evenings and will be covering Intaglio printmaking, with each week exploring the steps needed to complete a project.

There are still spaces in most of the programming. The PD ones fill up the quickest, with Easter break and February break in 2024 almost full. For more information visit https://www.esplanade.ca/esplanade-exhibitions-programs-and-shows/fall-art-classes-2023.

By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 06, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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