Young adult programs

Artist’s Harvest

Length of Program

90 minutes.

Program Description

Everyone has artistic talent! This program provides teens an opportunity to explore a variety of visual art forms through watching demonstrations, participating in hands-on creative activities, and learning about the work and lives of artists.


Contact local high schools, art associations, or museums for recommendations of local artists who will share their talents and encourage teens to experiment with their art forms. Demonstrations might include papermaking, watercolor, decoupage, clay sculpting, etc. Invite the artists to participate and ask for suggestions for activities that the teens might perform in conjunction with their demonstrations. Prepare a bibliography and display of related books and videos from your library’s collection.

Alternatively, library staff and volunteers may perform the demonstrations. Ask for donations of needed supplies from local art, craft, and hobby stores, or purchase them. Set up hands-on stations in the library meeting room for each of the mediums that will be demonstrated. Many books published by Klutz,, include simple instructions and materials for art projects. While these books will not be appropriate for the library collection, if possible, purchase them as program supplies. Crayola Model Magic and other art supplies are almost foolproof even for those who are not very skilled.

Books to Display

  • The Complete Colored Pencil Book by Bernard Poulin.
  • Creating with Fimo Acrylic Clay by Libby Nicholson
  • Denise Fleming's Painting With Paper: Easy Papermaking Fun for the Entire Family by Denise Fleming.
  • Eyewitness: Watercolor by Michael Clarke.
  • How to Draw Animals by Jack Hamm.
  • Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering and Design by Margaret Shepherd.
  • Pastel Workbook: A Complete Course in Ten Lessons by Jackie Simmonds.

Books to Booktalk

  • Tell Me A Picture by Quentin Blake.
  • Paint by Magic by Kathryn Reiss.
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park.
  • Stink Alley by Jamie Gilson.
  • Uncle Andy's: A Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol by James Warhola.


Marbleized Paper

  • Acrylic paints
  • Small disposable bowls
  • White paper
  • Liquid laundry starch
  • Shallow pan (like a baking pan)
  • Water
  • Newspaper or waxed paper (for drying)
  • Eyedroppers or straws
  • Plastic forks
  • Tub of clean water

Pour paint into the small bowls and dilute it with water. Pour enough laundry starch into the shallow pan to fill about 1/4 inch deep. Use an eyedropper or a straw to drop small amounts of paint onto the top of the laundry starch. Use a plastic fork to gently swirl the paint around. Carefully place a piece of paper on top of the starch. Leave in place 15-20 seconds and then rinse the paper in the tub of water. Allow it to dry face up on the newspaper or waxed paper. When the starch becomes "muddy" with too many colors or the mixture of colors becomes unpleasant, discard the starch and refill the pan with new starch if desired. Wrap the finished paper with a bow to give as a gift or use it to send a letter to someone special.

Painters Hats

  • Paper or cloth painter hats
  • Fabric paints or permanent markers
  • Fabric glue
  • Large sequins, self-adhesive patches, and other craft materials
  • Stencils (optional)

Purchase inexpensive painter hats or request a donation from a paint supply business. Cover the craft tables with newspaper or plastic. Let each teen have a hat, markers or fabric paint, glue, and other supplies. Decorate with geometric shapes, stenciled designs, self-adhesive patches, sequins, etc.

Web-based Activities

Sanford Art Adventures
Play art games online, including “The Art of Crime Detection” that allows players to solve crimes by drawing composite sketches, or follow along for step-by-step instructions on art techniques. Playing games requires a free Flash plug-in and games can be played online or downloaded to local computers.

Hirshhorn Art Interactive
Create sculpture online and see how it would look in the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn museum. Requires free Flash plug-in.

It’s About Art: Art Appreciation
A free online art appreciation course teaches about art forms, media, and terminology. The self-paced course has four lessons and can be experienced in any order.

The Color Pencil Challenge
Step-by-step lessons in various art techniques. From basic to advanced, library staff and students will learn how to use colored pencils to create art.

Web Sites

Dallas Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Video to View

Travels Through Time and Space: Robert Sabuda Retrospective. (75 minutes)


Painters Painting.


  • American Artist.
  • Muse.

Professional Resource

Doing Art Together: Discovering the Joys of Appreciating and Creating Art As Taught at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Famous Parent-Child Workshop by Muriel Silbertstein-Storfer.


Texas Reading Club 2004 Programming Manual / Color Your World...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011