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MakeArt Workshops: Dia de los Muertos

originally posted by SF Gate

October 10, 2012

If it were up to folks from San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Design, October might be renamed “Artober,” in honor of two family-friendly arts-and-crafts workshops scheduled for the month.

These workshops, part of the museum’s MakeArt program, take place at MCD pop-up museums and at organizations around the area while the museum’s new home in the Dogpatch neighborhood is under construction.

JoAnn Edwards, the museum’s executive director, says the workshops provide children and their families with activities that allow them to explore and create through art.

“MakeArt is a safe environment for kids to be creative,” she said. “With their focus on learning about artistic techniques and an opportunity for kids to explore their creativity hands-on in a supervised environment, (the workshops are) a great introduction not just to our museum, but to craft and design all around us.”

Both of the workshops honor the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrated Nov. 1. They are designed for children ages 6 to 12.

The first, slated for Saturday at the Potrero Branch Library, affords participants the chance to make paper marigolds. The workshop is free to the public and no registration is necessary. The library has enough space for up to 10 kids at a time.

The second workshop, scheduled for Oct. 27, is a bit more involved. From 1 to 3 p.m. at San Francisco’s Octavia Art Gallery, participants can learn the basic techniques behind drawing stylized Dia de los Muertos skulls. The skulls are a popular and creative way to pay homage to the holiday, and they have become the modern-day representation of the holiday here in the States.

Kids and family members can detail their skulls with paints and shiny collage materials. Preregistration is required and the fee is $10 (free for MCD members). The gallery has space for up to 12 kids at a time.

Edwards said both workshops are fun because they afford families the opportunity to create artwork together.

“Many young people and their families don’t otherwise have access to creative arts, as many schools have experienced cuts to arts education and programs,” she said. “We find that often, our workshops open the door to an untapped interest and ability in a child, and that’s the best possible outcome.”

The MakeArt program represents only one aspect of MCD initiatives to teach art. Since opening to the public in 2004, the museum has delivered exhibits and immersive workshops to thousands of visitors from San Francisco, the Bay Area and beyond.

The museum is scheduled to move into its new home in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood before the end of the year.

Paper marigolds workshop: 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. Potrero Branch Library, 1616 20th St., S.F. Multimedia skull collage workshop: 1-3 p.m. Oct. 27. $10; free for members. Octavia Art Gallery, 261 Octavia St., S.F.

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