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Unthaw your creativity at winter art workshops at Long Island museums

One-day events invite families to create, get messy with provided materials and some gentle guidance and encouragement from experts.

Art-making and creativity will be on display during

Art-making and creativity will be on display during Draw In! Winterfest, Jan. 27 at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington. Photo Credit: Heckscher Museum of Art

Art can warm the wintry heart — and maybe even cure cabin fever — when you take a museum art class with masterpieces down the hall. That’s the idea behind workshops combining art creation and appreciation at The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, The Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor and the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton.  

At upcoming classes, the basic materials (paper, paintbrushes) are provided, as well as space to work among artistically inclined museumgoers. As you toil with brush or glue, museum art experts and docents will be standing by to help you unleash creative potential.  

Inspiration for that charcoal drawing or digital collage can come from strolling adjacent galleries to see works by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera at the Heckscher, Audubon at NCMA or by talented Long Island schoolkids at The Parrish.  

Here are three ways to draw yourself and your family out of the winter blues.

DRAW IN WinterFest  

WHEN | WHERE Noon-4 p.m. Jan. 27 at The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington

INFO 631-351-3250, heckscher.org

ADMISSION Free

The Heckscher’s first winter community art festival recreates the aura of its fall plein-air event, but inside at comfortable temperatures.

WinterFest spotlights “a warm and friendly place with a variety of activities that people can do, and work that can inspire them,” says Joy Weiner, director of education. The first 50 visitors will be given a color pencil pack and an artist’s sketchbook.

The museum’s four galleries will be buzzing with art activities to the beat of Latin music. Families can learn classic techniques in an instructor-led figure-drawing workshop, or try their hand at two 55-inch digital touch-screen painters. Mexican-American artist Kelynn Z. Alder will guide the art-making.

“Sometimes people are a little nervous to go into art museums,” says Weiner. “This is a relaxed, no-pressure way to enjoy the art.”

Open Studio for Families

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, 16 and 23; March 9, 16, 23 at Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, where the Student Exhibition runs Feb. 9-March 10

INFO 631-283-2118, parrishart.org

ADMISSION $12 (free younger than 18)

The Parrish’s studio workshops are similar to school arts classes. Everyone tackles the same art assignment — which might be a miniature construction, a collage or a painting, says museum educator Madolin Archer. Parents are asked to stay and provide input as the kids work on projects.

“Every student is going to leave with a finished creation,” Archer notes.

The workshops come at an opportune time, when the Parrish’s is presenting its annual Student Exhibition, a winter tradition for more than 60 years. The kids can find plenty of inspiration from hundreds of artistic efforts by peers from Brookhaven and the East End.  

One-Day Workshops

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. Jan. 27 and Feb. 2 at Nassau County Museum of Art's Manes Education Center, One Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor

INFO 516-484-9338, nassaumuseum.org/workshops  

ADMISSION $50-$60, reservations required.

NCMA’s series of art workshops continue with classes celebrating the Lunar New Year. Chinese-born Long Island artist Sally Feng introduces students to Chinese brush painting, a centuries-old art form inspired by natural landscapes. Feng will show examples of her own work and encourage students to draw ideas from the wintry landscape outside on the museum grounds. (10 a.m.-noon Sunday, Jan. 27, $50).

Next up, artist and textile designer Oksana Danziger demonstrates another ancient art form: Handmaking artificial flowers with wool and needle tools. (10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 2, for children ages 10 and older, $60.)

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