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MAKE most of summer with children's art workshops

School’s still in session but many parents are already looking for how to occupy their children this summer. For budding artists, MAKE Bakersfield has just the thing: summer workshops exploring different methods of art for two different age groups.

Andrew Hawley was inspired to start Make Bakersfield as a means of providing broader arts education locally for children and teens.

"Art is this great tool that can provide an outlet for conversation and collaboration with others," he wrote in an email. "It’s an opportunity for youth to make mistakes and accept them as they are, and maybe even find beauty in them. Ultimately it’s an extremely natural form of self-expression for children and teens."

Hands-on art was already hard to find in elementary schools pre-pandemic, Hawley said, and he's heard from parents and students that it's been tougher for children during distance learning.

So there's no better time for these summer workshops, each of which will present a material and/or process that encourages students to explore and experiment, using what they learn to create a work of art.

Date and topics are Tuesday, print; May 25, draw; June 8, paint; June 29, paste; July 13, draw; and July 27, print.

For the print workshop, students will explore methods in printmaking such as drypoint, using plexiglass sheets and ink. Collage will be the activity for the paste session, with children hand-painting paper and mounting cut shapes onto foam board. Hawley said he may have students create a subtractive work using an eraser for the draw workshop.

Each day has a session for two age groups: children 6 to 8 from 3 to 3:50 p.m., and ages 9 to 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. Hawley said splitting the workshops by age allows him to adjust the presentation and project goals accordingly.

Hawley said the workshops are good for budding artists as well as those who've never picked up a paintbrush.

"These lessons are designed with the assumption that most students have not had prior experience working with a specific material or concept I present. Though some students may have worked with media like this in the past, my goal is to present it to them in an untraditional way."

Each workshop is $20 and class size is limited to 10 students. All will be held in the Lovelace Room at Bakersfield Racquet Club, 1660 Pine St.

Along with the summer workshops, Hawley also hosts outdoor family workshops at Cloud 9 Coffee Co.'s patio. These monthly "come-and-go" sessions give children and parents or guardians a chance to spend time together while making art.

The next one will be held May 15 in two sessions (9:30 and 10:30 a.m.) at Cloud 9's patio, 5060 California Ave. Cost is $15.

MAKE Bakersfield also offers mobile classes to sites throughout Kern County. For inquiries, email Hawley at andrew@makebakersfield.com.

To sign up your child for a workshop, visit makebakersfield.com.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.