Art Venture Launch Blog

Home >> Art Venture Launch Blog

Printmaking Demonstrations on Art Venture Opening Day!

Mar 29, 2012

We just set up the letterpress from John Reburn and our screen printing press with the help of Greg Szechenyi.  It is in the atrium ready for opening day printmaking demonstrations. Families will see printmaking first-hand and take home a flyer fresh off the printing presses.

In Art Venture there will be printmaking activities featured on different Saturdays, as well as a summer camp, Perfect Prints, where children will have the opportunity to dive deeper.  Hollins students under the direction of Jennifer Anderson have created printmaking blocks and donated them to Art Venture.

As I have worked on the redesign of Art Venture, each station has taken on its own personality and in working with John Reburn, we have selected a text type to emulate what you do at each station. 

Cindy Petersen
Director of School and Community Based Education

Discover, Create, and Participate in Art Venture

Mar 29, 2012

Visit Art Venture and our 13 stations to paint, explore printmaking, draw, build, connect music with art, investigate 3D printing, create sculptures, display artwork, and much more. Stations have self-directed activities with curriculum connections and guiding questions to stimulate learning.

The music dome is up and running! In our music area,children can listen to the sounds of Roanoke from the Roanoke Youth Symphony to the Downtown Music Lab and connect music with art. I piloted this idea a number of months ago with two groups of elementary age children as part of a school tour. The children were drawing as they listened to music. Many of them conveyed that through the music they could visualize their story and others relayed how the tempo and different rhythms inspired their artwork.

A couple of our visitors received a sneak peek and their attention was caught by the architecture area and the unique building blocks, magnets, and light table where you can create diverse shapes and structures. I predict that visitors of all ages will be attracted to this station to build and create.

I have incorporated a sensory wall to engage children with learning through all five of the senses, from touching shapes and other items to listening to sounds and matching them.

One of the areas I wanted to feature was a space specially designed with changing curriculum for middle and high school students.  Focus groups with high school students gave insight into what topics they would be interested in.  This has been an exciting development and the topics will rotate throughout the year. I have selected Manga – Draw a Character and Landscape Drawing for this first round of interactive activities.

It is definitely a place where children, youth, and their families can discover, create, and participate!

Cindy Petersen
Director of School and Community Based Education

Installing the sound dome.                  Middle and high school student station.

Showcasing Community Projects in Art Venture

Mar 25, 2012

This past year there have been a number of community projects. By having a display space, I can showcase the student’s work and highlight the activities of children and the community. This will include an area where the visitor can hang creative work they made at the museum, stand back, and admire.

Today we have finished hanging this first round of projects to showcase.

  • Our community tapestry based upon the painting Trapeze by Sally Bowring. The bright colors in the painting and wonderful geometric shapes lent itself to the tapestry medium. Last summer over 100 visitors ages 2-92 participated.
  • Haikus written by Japanese school children and responses from our visitors related to our new exhibition “Friendship Dolls: Japan and America in the 1920s.”
  • A selection of chess pieces and chess board squares created by Roanoke County art educators during their professional development session at the museum and 9th graders from our Museum Studies Course, Burton Center for Arts and Technology.

Cindy Petersen
Director of School and Community Based Education

Repurpose, Renovate, Reuse

Mar 24, 2012

March 24, 2012

In order to make use of the materials and items we already had, either as part of the old Art Venture or from what I saved from its prior location at Center in the Square we have repurposed, reused and also renovated existing fixtures. Take a look around and you will see the theatre lights and equipment were all part of the Lumia lab. Bookshelves, stools and interactive boxes were renovated and painted to look new and the entire theatre structure was built out of materials from the old Art Venture.

I was also able to find a home for many of the beloved pieces that did not fit into the new design.  You may see them around town like the book nook at a city library.

The most frequently asked question from visitors is about the painting station pictured below. After years of use, volunteers will be renovating this popular item. I look forward to bringing this favorite station back this summer at selected outside events!


Cindy Petersen
Director of School and Community Based Education

  We have repurposed and reused many fixtures and we will renovate the painting station for summer outside events.

Watch the Theatre Area Emerge

Mar 23, 2012

The puzzle pieces are all falling into place as the theatre space in Art Venture takes shape!  The puppet area was the most popular place in the old Art Venture and our puppets received a lot of love. I wanted to make sure this element of play and imagination continued in the new space but also to expand the realm of possibilities to include an actual stage area, props, costumes, and theatre lights. This is sure to stay a child’s favorite. Make sure you look for our interactive theatre box filled with descriptions of theatre games, skits and activities to get the whole family involved. A special thanks to Roanoke Children’s Theatre for their continuing collaborative efforts. RCT performs monthly in the Art Venture space on selected Free Spectacular Saturdays.

The brainstorming, design and actual building of the theatre has been a community effort. From the brainstorming phase with Pat Wilhelms to the design of the presidium by Jimmy Ray Ward the area was ready to be built.  The theatre did not come alive until the painting began and the crimson curtains were hung. Even the adults will feel like they are in another world as they step onto the cartoon-like drawn floor by John Wiercioch. A group of our four active Taubman volunteers have built the entire theatre from start to finish with precision and patience. Costumes on and hats off to all those who have assisted to create Art Venture’s theatre!

Cindy Petersen
Director of School and Community Based Education