WINSTED — The American Mural Project is launching Gifting @AMP, its second virtual art program for children ages 5–11, following a successful pilot over the summer.
In the four-week series, participants will welcome winter together with crafting and gifting projects, using a custom kit assembled by AMP teaching artist Jessica Jane Russell. Explore three creative processes based in simple, all-natural materials: rolling beeswax into candles, winding yarn to make pom poms and tassels, and painting creations in homemade salt clay. Each virtual session starts with discussion and demonstration, followed by working together on the project, and closing with a mindfulness game, giving children all the tools necessary for independent, off-screen creative work, according to a statement.
Gifting @AMP is led by Jessica Jane Russell, one of AMP’s professional teaching artists. Originally trained in architecture, she taught art at the New Orleans Children’s Museum before converting her personal studio space in a 19th century factory building on the Bantam River into a creative space for families, called ARTroom Ateler, according to the statement.
The program meets virtually on Mondays, Dec. 7-28, at 11 a.m .or 4 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 10 participants. The fee for the program is $60, plus a $15 kit fee. Kits can be shipped to U.S. addresses. Some adult supervision may be necessary for younger children. For more information or to register by Nov. 23: americanmuralproject.org/virtual-programs
“AMP’s virtual programs are designed to engage children far beyond the limitations of the screen in front of them: with the teaching artist, the other participants, their creative imaginations, and the world around them,” said Michelle Begley, education programs director.
Launched in 2002 by artist Ellen Griesedieck, the American Mural Project (AMP) is creating the largest indoor collaborative artwork in the world—a mural 120 feet long, 48 feet high, and up to ten feet deep. The mural is a tribute to American workers and highlights what has defined the country over the last century. It seeks to inspire, to educate, to invite collaboration, and to reveal to people of all ages the many contributions they can make to American culture, according to the statement.
More than 15,000 children and adults have helped create pieces of the mural, which will be housed in two former mill buildings on Whiting Street in Winsted, Connecticut. Scope Construction finished renovations on the mural building in fall 2018, and the lengthy process of assembling and installing the mural is now underway. Programming is currently offered for schools and teachers, after-school partnerships, summer enrichment camps, and an apprentice-style internship program.