The Museum’s upstairs Art Ways Interactive Family Gallery has always been a safe and engaging place for parents and children to explore design concepts and the visual arts together, most popularly during staff-guided ArtVentures creative time on Free Sundays. Now, with the start of  Free Admission for All, Forever, Art Ways and the adjacent Crayola Learning Center are open for guided art making on both Saturdays and Sundays.

Family time in the new Art Ways

But increased access to ArtVentures is just the beginning. Art Ways has been upgraded, with a new look, new layout, and new technologies and hands-on experiences to be had at three new Maker Stations.

The new Maker Stations will introduce young visitors to STEAM-based programming. STEAM is an approach to learning that incorporates elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics into learning experiences that inspire curiosity, discussion, and critical thinking. Museum educators will guide visitors as they experiment at the Maker Stations to ensure a high-quality STEAM experience.

The new Maker Stations are:

Through hands-on building, visitors will become familiar with concepts of architectural design, such as balance, symmetry and asymmetry, contrast, and pattern. Youngsters can take home a slot sculpture and add their work to a large sculptural installation in Art Ways.

By using microscopes to focus in on reproductions of art from the Museum’s collection, visitors can discover the real-world applications of scientific tools in the field of art conservation. Youngsters will simulate removing varnish and grime from a painting and experiment with filling gaps with pigments and tools.

A young designer draws up his idea for the 3D printer (pink, left).

Although 3D printers are becoming more affordable and available, the average young person still hasn’t used one. In Art Ways, families can create a design on an iPad, choose a color for their piece, and begin the printing in one of three Toybox 3D printers, transforming ideas into physical objects.

The Museum’s new Maker Stations are located in Art Ways Interactive Family Gallery on the second floor at the top of the ramp. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 12:30 to 3:30, Museum educators are on hand near the Maker Stations to help families collaborate on take-home projects.

The Museum’s hours are Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission, for all, is free always, thanks to a generous legacy gift from the Century Fund and lead support from Lehigh Valley Health Network
along with City Center Allentown and J. B. and Kathleen Reilly.