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Family day at the museum: NDMOA offers once-a-month art activities for parents, children

Lillith Carroll, 3, makes a clay and toothpick sculpture of a porcupine Saturday at the North Dakota Museum of Art's Family Day event at the museum. About 200 people attended he monthly event Saturday that runs from September through April. JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD1 / 3
Seven-year-old Olivia Payne of Grand Forks wears a headdress she made Saturday at the Family Day event at the North Dakota Museum of Art. JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD2 / 3
Bradford Hansen-Smith, the guest artist at Saturday's Family Day at the North Dakota Museum of Art, helps a young artist fold a paper plate into a three-dimensional circle. JOHN SETNNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD3 / 3

Colorful paper hats, small clay sculptures and spheres folded from paper plates are a few of the art projects that were made by families together Saturday at the North Dakota Museum of Art.

About 200 people were at the two-hour Family Day, which is geared toward helping families make art together, and, for the first time Saturday, they had the help of a guest artist, said Matthew Anderson, director of education at the museum.

“The kids love it,” said Laura Bakken, of Grand Forks, as she helped her two sons make paper hats.

Bakken and her sons, Jake, 3, and Brady, 6, have been to NDMOA’s Family Day about three times this year, she said. The free event is one Saturday each month from September through April, and the museum has children’s art camps in the summer.

When Bakken and her sons were making their paper hats, they hadn’t been to the clay station yet, but Bakken said she knew her sons would stay there for a while because they’d enjoyed working with clay during previous Family Days.

Jeremy Willard, of Grand Forks, also said his children like the clay station the best.

“I liked when we were doing the clay,” said his 6-year-old daughter, Isabelle. Her project was to make a sun, she said.

Willard was at Family Day for the first time with Isabelle, his son, Ethan, 2, and his other daughter, Ashleigh, 7.

Willard added that his daughters liked the museum’s current art exhibits.

Guest artist

In addition to the clay and paper hat stations, there was also a coloring table and a station where guest artist Bradford Hansen-Smith taught children to make three-dimensional circles by folding paper plates.

“If a child can fold a circle in half, they can do this,” Hansen-Smith said of his project. He moved to Grand Forks from Chicago about three months ago, and has been teaching children the art of folding circles for more than 25 years, he said.

Five-year-old Nicholas Staveteig said his project made of paper plates was a rocket ship. Nicholas was at Family Day with his parents and two younger sisters.

His mom, Ashleigh Staveteig, of Grand Forks, said all of her children were enjoying Family Day. It was their first time there, but Staveteig said they would like to go again.

Attendance for the event grows almost every month, Anderson said, because many families return and often tell their friends.

The next NDMOA Family Day, which is the last of the season, will be from 10 a.m. to noon April 26 at the museum.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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