PREVIEW: Summer fun and outdoor exhibition at The Bowes Museum

Posted on August 3rd 2020 by Whats on Northeast

As the Bowes Museum prepares to welcome visitors back, it’s announcing a packed summer programme of events, starting this week.

From stone painting to bird making and dream jars creating there’s something for everyone to enjoy over the six-week school holidays.

Young people aged 13 to 25 can take part in the Bouts Art School Online, which is happening on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum at 10.00 each Thursday morning.

As well as taking part in themed craft activities inside the Museum, which will need a pre-booked ticket for timed entry into the Museum, people will be able to take part in free artist led drop in sessions in the grounds.

The Museum has secured funding from Teesdale Area Action Partnership’s Holiday Activities and Healthy Food fund to deliver sessions every Wednesday of the school holidays, known as ‘Picnics and Art in the Park’, where families and young people will be able to come and meet six different artists in the grounds, bring a picnic and have a go at a wide variety of different art forms.

Free packed lunches, made by TCR Hub, can be booked for children and young people under 18 attending the Picnics and Art in the Park events who are eligible for free school meals by contacting  Bookings must be made by 5pm on the Monday before attending on the Wednesday, with a maximum of 30 lunches available each week.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times while attending events in the Museum and gardens.

The full run down of fun and exciting events follows:


Then on 4 August join in our Reopening Celebrations from 10.30 – 3.00 by recreating our iconic centrepiece and have a go at making your own sparkly Silver Swan creations in this fun filled workshop suitable for all ages.

On 5 August get creative with  Picnics and Art in the Park – Bird’s the Word! with street artist Bobzilla  Brighten up the grounds of the Museum from 11.00 to 2.00 with the Gateshead based designer Bob making lush bird bunting to string between the trees.  Colour in bird illustrations that will be cut out and laminated, have a go at hand painting birds onto plastic substrate that will become markers on the woodland walk and finally help create ‘The Big Bird’ by painting a large scale bird on a surface out in the open.  Just bring your own picnic, rug and waterproofs.  Free packed lunches can be booked for young people under 18 who are eligible for free school meals by contacting 5pm on the Monday before the session you wish to attend.

On 6 August the Bouts Art School Online continues on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum with Storytelling & Photography with artist Rachel McGivern at 10.  Join in this half hour tutorial on the secrets of great story telling through photography. Gather a selection of your own objects to combine and arrange in interesting compositions.  Find new ways of looking and document your creations using a camera or phone camera.

Be inspired by our Pre-Raphaelite Knights exhibition and travel back in time for the Knights and Dragons crafty workshops on 6, 13 and 27 August.  All ages can join in from 10.30 until 3.00 and make a fire-breathing dragon and a knight in shining armour.

Join in a Voyage of Splendour and Festivity on 7, 15 and 24 August. From 10.30 to 3.00 imagine you’re in Venice and make sparkly masquerade masks for the Regatta on the Grand Canal.  Take inspiration from our Canaletto paintings and find out more about the stories they tell.

“I is A Big Friendly Giant!”  See our special BFG statue in the Museum gardens and then get crafty and create your own magical dream jar to take home in our Dream Jars Galore! workshops on 8, 11, 20  and 28 August, from 10.30 – 3.00.

Go Wild! on 10, 18 and 25 August from 10.30 – 3.00.  Who will you be – the King of the Jungle or a beautiful butterfly?  Find your inner beast at this crafty animal themed workshop and let your imagination run wild.

Come and draw the beautiful parkland around the Museum with artist Jilly Johnston in Picnics and Art in the Park – Drawing in the Grounds on 12 August from 11.00 – 2.00You’ll be provided with your very own sketching pack and learn how to use different materials to mark-make as we look at observational drawing and still life inspired by nature in this fun and relaxing activity.

Just bring your own picnic, rug and waterproofs. Free packed lunches can be booked for young people under 18 who are eligible for free school meals by contacting 5pm on the Monday before the session you wish to attend.

In the live Bouts Art School Online workshop on Unfiltered Views with artist Jilly Johnstonon 13 August, we’ll look at the world from the point of view of what is unframed. What do we choose to take pictures of and what do we leave out of our pictures. During this half hour session from 10.00 on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum we’ll explore and draw the things that we see everyday but never notice. You’ll learn about mark-making, shading and framing using a view-finder in this drawing workshop with a thoughtful twist.

Perspective with Carlos Cortes is the penultimate Bouts Art School Online workshop, where he’ll ask you to join him in a game of shifting perspectives from 10.00 on 20 August.  Using drawing, colouring, collage and even photography we’ll look at how Renaissance artists created their works..  We’ll work on separate pieces that will come together to become your own version of St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child.  This half hour session on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum includes an introduction to linear perspective, the use of textures and patterns, and painting transitions from dark to light. You even have the chance to jump into the artwork!

Join in some Medieval Mayhem on 21 and 22 August from 10.30 – 3.00 where you can make your very own shield bearing your family Coat of Arms.  Come and join in this fun packed session where you collage, draw and build your very own shield to take home.

Picnics and Art in the Park is back on 26 August from 11.00 – 2.00 with Clay Bug Houses led by Jilly Johnston. Come and be inspired by the grounds of The Bowes Museum and make a clay bug-house with artist Jilly Johnston. Use clay and recycled materials to create a natural home for insects that you can take home to put in your own garden. Just bring your own picnic, rug and waterproofs. Free packed lunches can be booked for young people under 18 who are eligible for free school meals by contacting 5pm on the Monday before the session you wish to attend.

Take part in Paint Making with artist Sarah Elwen on 27 August at 10.00 on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum. This is your chance to find out the secrets behind Paint Making in the last of the Bouts Art School Online summer workshops.  Guest artist Sarah Elwen will demonstrate how we can make our own paints using everyday materials from around the home, such as cupboard spices, fruit, chalk, soil and vegetable oil.

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