Saturday, December 13, 2014

Santa's Workshop

Today was Santa's Workshop at Larson Gallery. It was so amazingly crowded and busy. Last year was the first year for the event and we had a decent turnout, but it never got really crowded.  The goal of the event is to encourage more kids and families to come to the gallery and feel welcome. This year it really worked. For a significant amount of time, I could barely walk through the gallery because there were so many people waiting to see Santa.

Last year I championed the creation of the event as a kid-friendly time in the gallery. Though I finished my term on the Larson Gallery Guild board earlier this year, I continued to help organize the second year of the event. This year our advertising (on Facebook and elsewhere) really paid off because the place was at least four times as crowded as last year. Kids came to see Santa, decorate cookies and create a tissue paper tree. They could also write a letter to Santa, who promised to read them all. Quite a few parents enjoyed making their own tissue paper trees and most of the most patiently and ornately decorated trees were done by artists over age 12. 

unfinished tissue paper trees

I did a fairly terrible job of taking pictures at the event, though you can see pictures on Larson Gallery's Instagram and maybe eventually on their blog. I spent most of my time refilling glue cups and making sure the kids had paper tree bases and enough tissue paper squares. I also did some Christmas shopping, since the small group of artists represented some excellent ceramic pieces, beautiful jewelry and fascinating prints. I also had some work for sale. I believe I sold three little sculptures and I saw three different little boys hanging onto their pieces during the event. I've got a good audience (admittedly one with limited purchasing power).

some small sculptures similar to those the boys bought
We had some excellent help from Larson Gallery members and staff and from some YVCC student ambassadors. The event was supposed to last 2 hours, but the place was busy for at least another half hour besides. The student ambassadors worked hard, with some Larson Gallery Guild members, to cut tree templates and tissue paper squares and instruct kids and parents on how to do the project. There wasn't quite enough room for everyone to sit throughout the event, so by the end I noticed that the approach to the project had been changed for some of the people. We started by telling people to wrap a tissue paper square around the end of a pencil and dip it in glue. Later I saw kids spreading glue onto their trees with the end of the pencil itself or dipping the wadded tissue paper into the glue with their fingers. Needless to say there were some sticky hands and pencils by the end.

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