Elizabeth Thompson, Library Director
Gorham Public Library
Gorham, New Hampshire
In a program originally planned for pre-schoolers, the library of this small, rural community held a series of art classes based on Keats books. The idea was to establish the connection between books, art and children’s lives. That was just the beginning.
The three one-hour sessions were expanded to include 35 children, ages 3 to 12. Each session began with the reading of a Keats book, followed by an art lesson based on the book, taught by a local artist—sponge painting for Dreams, collage for The Snowy Day and brush painting for Peter’s Chair. (Click on the images to enlarge.) The children applied their own compositions to canvas, which went on display as part of ArtWalk, a public showcase for area artists. The program is a step-by-step guide to making art and books important to children and a popular addition to the library schedule.