Artist teaches kids to create from Nature At Island Lake summer workshop

July 13, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Walking through a forested area, you will see leaves, pine cones, branches, and other natural elements scattered on the ground.

While most people recognize this as typical for a wooded area, Hockley Valley artist Miles Cohen sees these items as potential pieces for an art project. 

Miles uses a variety of natural and man-made items to create his artwork. He takes nature’s cast-away items and combines them with other objects, many of which are recycled or have been tossed away, and produces his three-dimensional abstracts with a burst of colour.

Miles is now offering a two-day art workshop for children in partnership with the Orangeville Public Library’s Nature Tales program running through the summer. The art workshop will take place at the Island Lake Conservation Area, in the outdoor adventure playground area in the park, on Wednesday, July 26 and Wednesday, August 23, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Children will enjoy a walk through the trails at Island Lake and learn about the forest, the natural materials that make up the ground, insects, and anything else they happen to come across.

At the end of the walk, participants will be able to use natural materials to create a work of art that they can bring home with them.

In keeping with the Conservation Area policy, children won’t be allowed to gather items from the woods, but Miles has already done the work and collected things on his own that the children can use.

He will be placing baskets around the trails so the kids can collect items and place them in their bags along the way.

“The program will be about the importance of the environment, environmental sensitivity, and the natural world around us,” Miles explained. “I thought this would be a good fit with the Nature Tales Program at the library and what they were trying to do. We will look at different things like leaves and twigs and seed pods and things like that, and discuss where they come from and the importance of the forest. Then we’ll collect things and make some artwork. The kids can collect what they want to use for their art piece.”

The program is ideal for children ages four to eight, but all ages are welcome.

This is a free event for kids, but visitors will still be required to pay the admission fee when entering the Conservation Area.

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