An Alexandria tradition for more than two decades, Art Safari returns for a day of hands-on activities for kids and families. Dozens of artists lead budding arts enthusiasts in hands-on projects throughout the building. Get messy constructing a giant papier-mâché elephant or squishing clay between your fingers. The Art League, Alexandria Archaeological Museum, and Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association will offer even more engaging programming.
Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for kindergarten age, with parental supervision, through middle school.
List of Activities
- Giant Papier-Mâché Elephant – Led by Lisa Schumaier
In only four hours, children use simple paper and paste to transform a wire frame into a new sculpture. Many of Schumaier’s previous Art Safari sculptures, such as the iconic camel, are on view in the first floor throughout the year.
- Halloween A-Dada – Led by Michael Holt
Inspired by Dada art and just in time for Halloween, make your own Dada Jack-O-Lantern! Paste magazine cut outs onto foam pumpkins and spiders. Draw on it with markers, and then toss some googly eyes on it for fun!
- Scrap City – Led by AIA Northern Virginia
Celebrate the month of Arch-tober with our friends at the American Institute of Architects (AIA)! The popular Scrap City project returns. Build your own buildings and insert them into a tabletop city grid to reimagine Alexandria. Visitors are also encouraged to design a new wing of the Torpedo Factory.
- Mini Paintings – Led by the Torpedo Factory Artists Association
Painters from the Torpedo Factory Art Center will sit side by side with young visitors to create miniature paintings together. Participants learn to paint on canvas with acrylic paint, and blending colors to make new and unique shades.
- Coloring Tables – Led by the Torpedo Factory Artists Association
Torpedo Factory artists created black and white line drawings for children to embellish with color.
- Bottlecap Art – Led by UpCycle Creative Reuse Center
Bottlecaps are transformed into sparkling art with the help of sequins and glitter glue.
- Creating Art with Alexandria Library – Led by Alexandria Library
Join staff from the Alexandria Library to create custom buttons and die-cut bookmarks.
- All Things Fiber – Led by Fluff & Nonsense
Local artists offer demonstrations of techniques with fiber in the creation of yarn and textiles. Hands-on participation encouraged.
- Clay Pendants Project – Led by The Mobile Art Lab
Join Alexandria’s Mobile Art Lab and artist Jennifer Wilkin Penick in making polymer clay pendants.
- Studio 8 – Make Your Own Sea Creatures – Led by Constantino Bastidas
Use your imagination and create new and strange underwater creatures.
- Studio 21 – Gallery scavenger hunt – Led by The Art League Gallery
This year, The Art League’s scavenger hunt explores the October Open Exhibit. Each completed scavenger hunt can be shown at the gallery desk to receive a special prize.
- Studio 22 – Clay Experience – Led by Susan Greenleaf
Children play and experiment with a piece of wet clay to mold and shape into any form they can imagine. Potters will demonstrate their technique for throwing clay on a pottery wheel.
- Studio 29 – Fiber collage – Led by Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery
Artists help children create a dynamic collage using bits of fabric and fiber.
- 2nd Floor Hall – Easel stations – Led by Christine Cardellino
With acrylic paint and paper, children paint anything they can imagine at the easel stations located on the 2nd floor.
- All 3 floors and Studio 325 – Silk screen printing – Led by Patrick Sargent
Children progress through four different color stations to create their own full-color silk-screen image.
- Studio 326 – Macaroni Rigatoni Noodle Making Necklaces – Led by Sissy Cutchen and the Friends of Torpedo Factory
Stop by Studio 326 to take part in a hands-on Macaroni Rigatoni Noodle Making Necklace project. Learn more about the Friends of the Torpedo Factory and their work supporting the arts. Reading and book signing of Sissy Cutchen’s children’s book, “Everybody’s Cookies” which explores American food and it’s international menu. Books will be personally inscribed for you child.
- Studio 327 – Drawing on the Past – Led by Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Artifact illustration is still used by archaeologists to reveal details that otherwise might be missed by a photograph. Visitors will choose a real artifact to measure and illustrate on their lab sheet. Artistic representations of other artifacts will also be on display throughout the museum.
- Dance Painting – Led by Local Motion Project
Swirl, splatter, dance, freeze! Explore art in motion as we create a giant mural by dancing to a variety of music with paint on our hands, feet, brushes and more!