Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fun times at the Fun with the Family Fair

Last week, we hosted the first ever Library, Archives, and Museum joint family day, the Fun with the Family Fair. Since we moved into our new building, the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum, we've been trying to find ways to better collaborate with each other and to share our collections with Alaskans.

The Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum apply annually for a youth activity grant through the City and Borough of Juneau's Youth Activities program. This grant supports free opportunities for young people to learn artistic techniques from professional working artists and to connect with the exhibits and collections of the Library, Archives, and Museum.
Kids at the workshop with Daniel.
Solo Artist Daniel Papke led a collage painting workshop in November 2017. Here, participants share their creations and their funniest faces.

The family fair was an extension of that program, but unlike most of the workshops, was completely homegrown. Our Division Operations Manager Lisa Golisek worked with doll artist Mary Ellen Frank to create chenille stem people, sled dogs, as well as kuspuks, robes, parkas, and accessories inspired by Alaska Native regalia and outerwear. This activity is a perennial favorite and frequently requested by our youth activity participants and parents.
              Volunteer Anne Fuller helps participants create chenille stem sled dogs.             
Sandy Johnston, Historical Library Assistant II, helps a young man create a chenille stem person.
Jackie Manning, Museum Curator of Exhibits, demonstrates how to make a kuspuk for the chenille stem figures.

Archivist Leah Geibel created a design your own flag activity based on the territorial flag competition in 1927, when 13-year old Benny Benson designed the eight stars of gold. A basic flag template, some submissions from the competition, and a few boxes of crayons were all that were needed for this station. It was great to have an activity appropriate for very young children.
Leah shows some samples from the territorial flag competition to some young flag designers.

Our Historical Collections has a great collection of early 3-D photo cards called stereograms or stereographs. These souvenir cards had two images taken from slightly different angles so that they create a 3-D effect when viewed with a stereogram viewer, and often featured stories or information on the back. Library Assistant Jacki Swearingen has worked extensively with the stereogram collection, even transforming some of them into anaglyphs, 3-D images viewed with red-blue glasses. She shared a selection of her favorites from the collection, many of which are more than 100 years old.
This is one of many stereogram cards from our collection. It shows President and Mrs. Harding visiting Metlakatla in 1923. Alaska State Library, PCA 418-22.

Kids created their own stereograms by setting up a diorama and then taking two pictures of the scene with a digital camera. These photos were then imported into Photoshop, dropped into a template with the arches, slightly edited by our volunteer Photoshop master Carl Brodersen, then printed. These were then cut out, glued onto cards, and tested out on the stereoviewer. We were amazed that they worked every time!
After the scenes were set up, the photos were taken, formatted, and printed, kids created their own stereogram card. These two even wrote stories for the reverse side.

Newspapers are a big part of our collections, and Technical Services Librarian Ginny Jacobs helped kids find the newspaper from the day they were born. We also had a newspaper printing station where kids could create their own paper using newsprint and rubber stamps. That turned out to be the messiest station!
Ginny looks over the newspaper production area after showing kids the newspaper from their birthdays.

Historic salmon can labels from the Alaskan canning industry are one thing that is held in all of our collections. Museum Registrar Andrew Washburn created templates and led children in an exploration of marketing and graphic design techniques. They even got to take their designs home on their own cans.
          Andrew offers options to participants ready to affix their labels to their cans.         

One station that was unexpectedly popular was a create-your-own-activity, which we stocked with magazines, glue sticks, colored paper, scissors, and crayons. Kids let their imaginations run free and came up with their own works of art.

Thanks to everyone who came by on their last day of winter break to spend the afternoon with us at the family fair! We had such a fun day with all of you. To find out about our next youth activity, visit our youth art activity web page.

The youth activity program at the APK is sponsored by the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum and is partially funded by the citizens of the City and Borough of Juneau through sales tax revenues.

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