Back to School!

Visitors to the Junior League of St. Petersburg's annual Care Fair on July 29, 2017 painted the NOMAD Art Bus in the Great Explorations art area throughout the event.

Visitors to the Junior League of St. Petersburg's annual Care Fair on July 29, 2017 painted the NOMAD Art Bus in the Great Explorations art area throughout the event.

It's time to head back to school, and Great Explorations is participating in several events to send the kids (and grown ups!) there in style! One of our favorite annual events is Care Fair, presented by the Junior League of St. Petersburg. Families are getting new backpacks and getting excited to start a new school year.

This year we were able to provide some extra special experiences at Care Fair because of the generous support of Creative Pinellas and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.

Kids received new backpacks at Care Fair and at one Great Ex art station they were able to decorate a cool critter backpack hanger! 

Kids received new backpacks at Care Fair and at one Great Ex art station they were able to decorate a cool critter backpack hanger! 

At the Great Explorations art stations, kids got back into math mode with pixel art, and sharpened their science skills by spraying water on cloud, raindrop, flower and tree shapes cut out of bleeding tissue paper. The results of this unique approach to painting were beautiful illustrations of the water cycle.

Visitors carefully place their colorful nature shapes on watercolor paper in our Rain Painting activity.

Visitors carefully place their colorful nature shapes on watercolor paper in our Rain Painting activity.

Another unique experience available at our art stations was working with primary colors of tempra paint, a selection of scraping and painting tools and a special gel pad to create one-of-a-kind monoprints. Mixing colors and textures creates beautiful and surprising results! 

Initial Collages provided even more opportunities to explore texture. In this activity, poms, feathers, fabric and more are affixed to foam letters. The collage can then be hung from a backpack or glued to a notebook - talk about a unique monogram!

Personal Puzzles provided another opportunity for self-expression. Visitors to this art station drew or wrote whatever they wanted on a piece of craft foam and then waited anxiously while our Accu-Cut machine turned their drawings into a puzzle right before their eyes!

Other activities we took to the event were scratch art, monster bookmarks, heart art, and sticky board collages. 

Finally, families used stamps to decorate a bag to carry all of their cool creations home!

By far the biggest hit of the Great Explorations art area was the NOMAD Art Bus. When the bus arrived bright and early, it was all white. But that didn't last for long as kids and their families grabbed paint brushes and made their mark on this giant, collaborative and temporary traveling piece of art!

Great Explorations is very grateful for the support of Creative Pinellas and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners for allowing us to provide opportunities for artistic exploration and self-expression for visitors to Care Fair 2017. Families come to Care Fair to receive school supplies, bike helmets and medical screenings. The activities in the Great Ex art area provided opportunities for the students to confidently head into the new school year more connected to each other, to the world around them and to the artist that lives in each of them.