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Natural History & Fine Arts Museum

Museum Workshops


Friends of the Museums members receive special pricing on all workshops.  Not a member yet?  Join here today!


Foundations of Fantasy: Acrylic Intensive with John Jude Palencar

Saturday, September 24  |  9am – 1pm  |  Instructor: John Jude Palencar  |
$115 ($130 non-members)  |  Register Here

For intermediate level artists familiar with the tools and techniques of drawing and painting.  This workshop, led by renowned artist John Jude Palencar, will focus on how his fantasy art is rooted in the value, form and comparative anatomy of animal skeletal structures. Participants will work with real animal skulls to extend what they observe into fantastical creatures. This workshop is limited in size so all students will receive individual instruction.


Learn More About John Jude Palencar

John Jude Palencar is an American artist whose acrylic paintings are filled with visual allegories, symbols, and archetypes. He is best known for meticulous technique reminiscent of the old masters, and a soaring, darkly surreal imagination. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Canton Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. his artist in residence at the Cill Rialaig Artist’s Retreat, County Kerry, Ireland, culminated in a solo exhibition, “Images of Ireland”, at the National Museum in Dublin. An inspiring instructor, John has also been a visiting artist and lecturer at several colleges and universities.

Palencar’s hybrid approach to art – being both an illustrator and fine artist – is a testament to the strength and acceptance of his work by a wide audience of fans, clients and collectors. His recent awards include top honors form the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic, the American Watercolor Society, and Allied Artists of America. Recognition for nearly half a century of contributions to the field of illustration includes the Society of Illustrators prestigious Hamilton King Award, the Spectrum Grand Master Award, six Chesley Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, and juried inclusion in numerous annual publications.

Palencar is internationally known for his cover art for renowned authors including H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, P.D. James, Octavia Butler, George R.R. Martin, and Stephen King – to name a few – seen in over 30 countries. His clients include Time Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Nat. Geo. Television, Lucas Arts, Paramount Pictures, and Vivendi Universal. “Origins – The Art of John Jude Palencar”, published by Underwood Books, is a collection of John’s book covers and selected personal works.



Fused Glass: Two Nightlights

Thursday October 13  |  6pm – 8:30pm  |  Instructor: Jayne Herring  |  $25 ($40 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $25  |  Register Here

Light up the night when you create two unique nightlights using a variety of colors and patterns.



Woven Witch’s Hat

Saturday, Oct 15  |  10am – 2pm  |  Instructor: Sandy Bulgrin  |  $40 ($55 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $12  |  Register Here

Weave a Halloween decoration that is sure to become a family heirloom. This witch’s hat is woven over a wire frame using black reed. Included are witches legs and feet to hang from the bottom of the hat and ribbon. Perfect for the front door or a wall.  



Wet Felted Pumpkins

Thursday, October 20  |  6:30pm – 8:30pm  |  Instructor: Tiffany Knopow  |  $25 ($40 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $10  |  Register Here

Learn the basics of wet felting wool fibers in this fun and soapy class!  Each participant will get to make at least 3 small pumpkins. No experience is needed, all supplies are included.



Acrylic Painting Beginner and Beyond – Fall

Saturdays, October 22 – November 12 (4 weeks)  |  10:30am – 1pm  |  Instructor: Kathy Laybourn  |  $75 ($90 non-members)  |  Register Here

Be enchanted with texture and color in acrylic paint! Students will learn how to construct a painting by determining basic composition, blocking in the underlying dark, middle, and light values, and layering color. Students will work from an image of an impressionist painting. This class is perfect for those who are beginners or have previous experience and want to expand their skills in acrylics. A supply list will be emailed after registering. 



Watercolor Techniques – Fall

Mondays, November 7 – December 12  |  10:30am -1:30 pm  |  Instructor: Barbara Farrell  |  $100 ($115 non-members)  |  Register Here

Designed for painters of all skill levels, come explore the magic of watercolor painting. Each of the six sessions will begin with a demonstration showcasing the technique of the day. Students are instructed on several different watercolor applications. A supply list will be emailed after registering. 



Morning Tai Chi on the Mezzanine

Mondays, November 14 – December 19 (6 weeks)  |  9am – 10 am  |  Instructor: Ruth Mcgee  |  $40 ($55 non-members)  |  Register Here

Enjoy the sunshine over the lake as you practice the gentle movements of Tai Chi from the warmth of the museum’s mezzanine. Tai Chi is a slow moving mind and body exercise, patterned after movements in nature. This class will cover some of the fundamental principles and exercises of Tai Chi, focusing on balance, breathing, and movement, while relaxing the body and mind. No experience necessary, wear comfortable clothing for low impact exercise. 



Fused Glass: Ornaments or Jewelry

Thursday November 17  |  6pm – 8:30pm  |  Instructor: Jayne Herring  |  $25 ($40 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $25  |  Register Here

Just in time for the holidays, create some fused glass Christmas ornaments or jewelry perfect for loved ones – or yourself.



Two Sweet Treat Baskets

Saturday, Nov 19  |  10am – 3pm  |  Instructor: Sandy Bulgrin  |  $45 ($60 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $20  |  Register Here

Sweet Treats: Let’s make 2, one to keep and one for a gift. This basket has a wood swing handle and accent dyed reed, after the basket is finished a dyed bow can be added. A fun basket to weave and give. Some color choices available. Basket measures 6 1/2” X 4” X about 3 1/2” tall



Introduction to Ikebana- Japanese floral design

Saturday, November 19  |  10:30am – 12pm  |  Instructor: Laurie Wareham, Junior Master for The Ichiyo School of Ikebana  |  $30 ($45 non-members)  |  Supply Fee:  $35  |  Register Here

Japanese floral design (Ikebana), an artform practiced since the 7th century, has thousands of methods and arrangements. The purpose behind the design is to appreciate beauty that is often ignored: simplified shapes and lines, the full stages of life, seasonality, and the connection of all living things.



Mini Macrame Plant Hanger

Saturday, November 19  |  1:30pm – 3:30pm  |  Instructor: Tiffany Knopow  |  $25 ($40 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $15  |  Register Here

Learn how to macrame in this introductory class.  We will be using a few simple knots to create two mini macrame plant hangers that are suspended on a branch.  All supplies are included in this workshop (class includes faux succulents for the pots) and no experience is needed. 



Holiday Planter

Thursday, December 1  |  6:30pm – 8:30pm  |  Instructor: Beth Dankert  |  $30  ($45 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $30  |  Register Here

Get into the holiday spirit by creating an outdoor holiday planter.  Beth will have all the greens, bows & planters you’ll need to create this lovely outdoor arrangement. Please bring your own gloves & clippers to class.



Fused Glass: Holiday Lantern

December 8  |  6pm – 8:30pm  |  Instructor: Jayne Herring  |  $25 ($40 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $30  |  Register Here 

Create a beautiful holiday-themed lantern out of fused glass.



Tall Christmas Tree Basket

Saturday, Dec 10  |   10am – 4pm  |  Instructor: Sandy Bulgrin  |  $45 ($60 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $25  |  Register Here

This basket is woven on a tall “D” handle and is woven with accent dyed reed at the bottom and top, the center of the basket is woven with natural reed. After the basket is finished students will create a reed tree topped with a wooden star and hearts, with buttons as ornaments. This basket is sure to become a favorite for the holiday season.  Basket measures: 8” Sq X 13 1/2” tall not including the handle.



Shibori Dye

Saturday, December 10  |  10:30am – 1:30pm  |  Instructor: Tiffany Knopow  |  $30 ($45 non-members)  |  Supply Fee: $20  |  Register Here

Shibori dying is a thousand year old process from Japan that is the combination of origami and tie dye.  Learn different folding and indigo dying techniques to create stunning pieces.  Students will be provided four squares fabric to practice the techniques and can bring in a few items (shirts, scarfs, pillow cases, fabric napkins, etc) to dye as well.  Fabrics with higher cotton percentages dye the best, blends with over 50% cotton are preferred. No experience needed. Shibori supplies included.



Holiday Paint and Sip: Christmas Still Life

Thursday December 15  |  6pm – 8pm  |  Instructor: Kathy Laybourn  |  Adults 21 and older  |  $35 ($50 non-members)  |  Register Here

Students will work from a festive still-life of packages, bows and oversized ornaments to finish a painting in the light hearted class. Add sparkling snowflakes to finish your artwork. No prior painting experience necessary. All materials provided. 



Stained Glass: Retro Holiday Ornaments

Saturday, December 17  |  Instructor: Anna Wolff  |  $50 ($65 non-members)
10:30am – 1pm  Register Here  |   2pm – 4:30pm  Register Here

Create an ornament using the copper foil (Tiffany style) method in this introductory class. Students will select, cut, grind, and solder glass pieces to make a completed ornament. All supplies included.



Payment and Refunds

Payment in full is due at the time of registration.  Cancellations made at least two weeks prior to the start of the workshop or class will receive a full refund. Cancellations made within two weeks of start date will not receive a refund.  A full refund will be issued if the museum cancels a workshop or class.