One of the best parts of living in Wisconsin for many is the snowy winters. While the joy of snow days might not be the same for adults as for kids, the fun of making snow angels or the thrill of throwing a snowball never fades. I remember spending hours digging tunnels through snow drifts that couldn’t possibly have been as tall in life as they exist in my memory. I wouldn’t come inside until my masterpiece was finished…or my toes were numb.
As we settle into this cold winter, there are two things that can help us thrive: art and the great outdoors. That’s why the Kohl’s Art Studio is teaming up with the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) to encourage everyone to bundle up and get creative together—outside!
Each January for the last five years, the Milwaukee Art Museum has partnered with organizations like The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Penfield Children’s Center, and Hunger Task Force on creative projects. These partnerships have taken different forms, but a common thread has been families working together to make something the community can enjoy. This year, we partnered with the Urban Ecology Center because it is a great organization whose outdoor settings are inspiring. I’m happy we are able to work with them, highlighting the connection between art and nature, and getting kids and their families to appreciate the environment in a different way.
Beginning January 25, Museum educators will provide sculpting tools and how-to ideas to all three UEC branch locations. The kits will be incorporated into UEC’s Equipment Lending Program and available to the public free of charge all winter. In addition, on February 6, families will have the opportunity to build snow sculptures with Milwaukee Art Museum sculpting kits at the UEC’s annual Winterfest at Washington Park.
“This is a great partnership,” says Terry Evans, manager of the Washington Park UEC branch, “because we are both organizations that place an importance on education, teaching, and learning. This project allows people to be creative and connect to nature in a fun and educational way.”
The Kohl’s Art Studio at Home page on the Museum’s website at mam.org/art-studio already features how to make ice sculptures among its many creative activities—and more are added every other week!
Equipment lending hours and availability at the Urban Ecology Centers can be found on their website online.
Brett Henzig is the Youth & Family Programs Educator. He manages the Kohl’s Art Studio, leads school tour workshops, and teaches Youth Studio Classes and Summer Art Camps. Outside the Museum, you’ll find Brett making art, rescuing injured wild animals, and spending time with his wife, son, dog, cat, and rabbit.