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805 N. Chicago Street,
Geneseo, IL 61254

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Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 - 5:00 PM
Closed Sunday

Virtual Art Programs

Smith Studio and Gallery: Kids' Korner

#14 Artistic Aluminum Foil 

Working with aluminum foil takes patience.  My fifth grade student, who did not do well in most school subjects, proved that he had the patience, skill and imagination to build these unique creations.  It was all he wanted to do!  So he and I wrote a contract and by the end of the year he had to have 15 creations for the annual Art Festival.  Once this young man had his aluminum creations on display he became inspired in knowing that there were things he could do well in school.  Schools, and teachers, succeed best when they develop a desire to succeed in each child.  

In trying these aluminum foil creations you can use a low temperature hot glue gun (with your parent’s permission).  But you can challenge yourself to not use any adhesives and just use folding and crimping to fasten the parts together.  A word of warning …once you make one, and then another …it becomes addictive and you want to build a whole family from your imagination!

Vocabulary: define “creativity”. 

#15 Hidden Artistic Masterpiece

Working in art means that you are usually looking at what you are creating.  But …how does the mind, the eye and the hand connect.  This “hidden” drawing is created by you looking at the subject you are drawing, but you NEVER look at the paper.  To do this you have to hide the paper from view.

Take your time.  Concentrate.  Each drawing you make should get a little bit better as you THINK about the connection between your brain, eye and hand.  Since you might do a bunch of these you might want to use a cheaper paper; but tape the paper to the table so that it does not move around.  DO NOT do this on Mom’s good table because if your drawing tool leaves the paper you do not want to draw on the table!  Maybe cover the table or tape your paper to a larger piece of cardboard.

Suggestion:  This is a lot of fun to do with other family members as you might draw each other.  Lots of laughs when you try this special way of drawing!

Vocabulary: define “drawing”. 

#16 American Gothic Carryout

The famous painting “American Gothic”, by Iowa artist Grant Wood, can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago.  In my teaching career, I enjoyed decades of taking children to the Art Institute where we could look at this wonderful masterpiece.  It well represents the Midwest of America …land and people like you will find in Geneseo, Illinois.  

Use any art media you might like, and draw or paint your own version of Grant Wood’s insightful masterpiece.  But …give your artwork a special finish and turn it into a statement on “Sheltering In Place” and our new infatuation with “carryout food”.  If you wish, send me a photo of your unique artwork by 
e-mailing to

The house seen in “American Gothic” is still in Eldon, Iowa and is now on the National Register Of Historic Places.  Make this unique place a destination for a future road trip that your family might wish to take through south central Iowa.

I want to give a recommendation to the “Getting To Know…” series of biographies written and illustrated by Mike Venezia.  Artists, musicians, scientists and Presidents are all part of this wonderful book series written for a younger reader.  I hope you like Mike’s special sense of humor that he shares in each book.

Vocabulary: define “masterpiece”. 

Miss Rita Reads "Ada Twist, Scientist"

Tales of Chivalry 

Karl M. Kindt III, the official knight of 10 American Cities, tells tales of chivalry for children.

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Library Information
805 N. Chicago Street,
Geneseo, IL 61254
Phone: 309-944-6452
Fax: 309-944-6721
Toll free number for renewals:

Contact Information:
Claire Crawford, Director