Art Education & Creative Expression
Art Education at the Harwood
The Harwood Museum of Art believes that all children should have access to the arts regardless of income or background. Our educational programs make the Harwood collection and special exhibitions accessible to our entire community, regardless of age. Introducing children to the arts encourages positive risk-taking, builds links to our histories and cultures, teaches visual literacy, and inspires curiosity, creativity, and life-long learning in our future generations.
The Harwood introduces hundreds of children to the Museum each year through a series of innovative, free, regular art programs for children and families, and outreach into our local schools.
The Fern Hogue Mitchell Education Center
Our Education Center includes the dedicated studio for our art-making programs and is housed in a sun-filled space that originally served as the living room of the original home of Burt and Lucy Harwood. In addition to the studio, the space has the Sidney and Gladys Smith Children’s Art Gallery where works of students in our programs are displayed on special occasion. The Education Center also served as Taos original children’s library as part of the Harwood Public Library from the 1920s to the 1990s. The space was restored to its original splendor through the generosity of Orin and Stephanie Smith and named for Stephanie’s grandmother, a schoolteacher in Taos.
The Fern Hogue Mitchell Education Center is fully equipped to handle large classes and a range of media. We have kid friendly sinks and a bathroom with a changing station. The Art Studio also has a corner with toys, books, and activities for children of all ages.
School Partnerships & Programs
Art in the Schools
Art in the Schools uses the power of art to transform young lives. This museum-based studio art program provides in-depth arts education to at-risk, low-income school children. Since the program began in 2007, the Harwood has developed a partnership with almost all local schools, providing 1,400 2-hour visits to over 600 Pre-K through 5th grade children per school year. This regular engagement in the arts has been shown to motivate student learning through creative thinking and problem solving, which is linked to a positive and successful educational experience.
Learn more about this program >
Art Exploration Workshops
These multi-day workshops are held during the summer and on school breaks. This program introduces kids to different themes in art, often aligned to current museum exhibitions. Guest artist instructors as well as museum educators present a project over a four-day period.
Art Exploration Workshops allow for more involved art-making, provide opportunities for friendships, and helps children feel comfortable in the Harwood Museum. The Fern Hogue Mitchell Education Center and studio, the Harwood’s back-yard sculpture garden as well as the museum galleries are used in this program.
Programs for Adults
The Harwood presents a variety of programs for adults including lecture series, gallery talks, special art history programs, concerts with the Taos Chamber Music Group, docent programs, studio art workshops, film series, jazz, and other worldly music concerts.