Category Archives: Young Masters

The Stories of Art of Story: Utica

This summer during our Art of Story children’s program, participants learn about the elements of storytelling by exploring the artwork in our galleries. To help illustrate the power of narrative, our docents often tell a story inspired by some of the paintings. A favorite among the collection is Russell’s Utica.

Charles M. Russell, Utica (A Quiet day in Utica), 1907, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches

Charles M. Russell, Utica (A Quiet day in Utica), 1907, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches

Utica and the upper Judith River country in Montana were among the last frontiers to be settled because of the frequent Indian raids and their great distance from the protection of forts. Family men hesitated to make their homes in the area until after the gold rush of 1879. The few scattered settlers before that were bachelors, the first of which to build a home, plow a furrow, and plant a crop was John Murphy.

Murphy had come from Utica, New York. Soon others from the same town followed. Murphy laid out some of the lots and plotted the village, which was named Utica, after his home town.

One incident in 1881 created a lot of excitement in Utica. Before Utica had an officially appointed postmaster, John Murphy’s cabin served as a post office for the convenience of settlers. It was winter and the roads were heavy with deep snow. The mail carrier’s wagon broke down. When he left on horseback, he took only the letters, leaving behind a heavier sack for the next trip, which would be in a couple of months or so. The remaining sack got kicked under Murphy’s bunk on the dirt floor of the cabin, becoming the dog bed for the next several months. Eventually, the sack was covered with dust and forgotten.

When the snow was gone, about middle of May, a detachment of soldiers from Fort McGinnis rode into Utica. They had been trailing a sack of money lost several months prior and asked if any had been found. The lost sack contained the $40,000 payroll for the soldiers at Fort McGinnis and had disappeared. While the men searched the cabin, Murphy remembered about the sack the dog had been sleeping on all winter.

“That’s it!” gasped the soldier. “That’s the $40,000 we’ve been moving heaven and earth to find, and it’s been a bed for your dog!”

After that, three of Utica’s doctors built the post office building on the east side of Main Street.

Adapted from Old Utica by Charles Waite.

Cultural Education

Last month we had a visit from the FWISD American Indian Education Program during their summer cultural camp. We caught up with AIEP Liaison Alice Barrientez to learn more about this program.IMG_3504

What is the American Indian Education Program?

AIEP is a grant funded program through the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education.  It provides academic support and cultural education for identified students who attend FWISD. Our goal is to ensure that each American Indian student successfully completes high school prepared for higher learning.

The program was implemented into school districts nationwide during the Kennedy administration. Research revealed that Native students were struggling. Reports indicated: high rate of dropouts, high rate in substance abuse, high rate in health issues both physical and mental.IMG_3521What kind of activities and cultural education opportunities does the program offer? 

The program delivers four camps throughout the school year.  The first camp focuses on language arts and includes a writing camp called PEN MAN, which provides an opportunity for students to enhance their writing skills and, for first time campers, to discover their tribal history, traditions and language.

The second camp is our science and math camp, called NASTUMLA, or Native American Science Technology Using Material from Land for Art. During this camp students walk back in time to learn the value and the evolution of fire making. Likewise, students discover how to distinguish plants that are edible and plants that are used for medicine.

Our other two camps include the Totem camp, focused on the roles of animals, and the Cultural camp, which is exploratory and provides hands-on activities.  These experiences are gained through visiting and utilizing our cultural based centers such as the Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Noble Planetarium and IMAX Omni Theater.

Why did you choose to visit the Sid Richardson Museum?

The Sid Richardson Museum’s collection captures Native culture on canvas, allowing our students to learn about various aspects of American Indian tradition. The collection also provides an opportunity to show the history of the U.S. and Native people before the influx of Western settlers, illustrating how both groups came to share the same land and learned to coexist.

The museum visit also includes a studio activity. Art is very much a part of American Indian culture. Painting in the studio is a great way for the students to express themselves.IMG_3582IMG_3532

Why is the American Indian Education Program important to the Fort Worth community?

It is important for the city to know that American Indians are part of the community. We are proud of our cultural history and want to educate the public about our heritage. As such, we hold an annual student Pow Wow at the Billingsley Field House behind Farrington Field stadium.

To learn more about this program, visit the FWISD website.

Stories of the West

Throughout the summer, in partnership with the Fort Worth Library’s Worth Reading Program, the museum is presenting Art of Story children’s workshops. This program is an opportunity for kids to explore the American West while learning how to compose a story.

Storytelling is important because stories help us connect with each other and are central to our mental processes for understanding, remembering, and communicating. Stories make it easy to learn and teach us the history and values of our people and other cultures. Plus, stories are fun!IMG_3319IMG_3357

Remington and Russell were great storytellers, as is evidenced in their paintings. Each artist had a different style of storytelling. Russell liked to capture the entire scene on a canvas, whereas Remington would leave clues that might hint to actions taking place beyond the picture plane. Through these artists’ works, our docents discuss character, setting, action, as well as myth and storytelling.IMG_3370IMG_3385 cropped

Inspired by the artwork in our galleries, the students take to the canvas, creating their own story by painting a landscape with authentic artist supplies.IMG_3397 editArt of story collage 1Art of Story collage 2IMG_3429 cropped

 To learn more about Worth Reading visit:

Animals in Art

In our children’s programs, so often we study the People of the West: cowboys, American Indians, soldiers, pioneers, explorers, etc. This year, our children’s spring break workshops focus on the animals featured in our collection, allowing the students to think about the wild life that lived in the West and consider how important each animal was to the people living in that region.diorama sketching

Man’s relationship with animals is a universal theme that knows no time boundaries. Children today can relate their own experiences with animals to those who lived in the old West, placing the 19th Century into a context not so far from their own lives. Our programs always aim to balance fun, education, and creativity. The subject of animals is a great way to achieve that mission.Ginger in Gallery

During this two-day workshop, students connect with the collection through scavenger hunts, sketching sessions in the galleries, and docent guided tours of selected artworks. The students transfer their studies and knowledge to the studio, where they have an opportunity to work with 2-D and 3-D art forms to create their own animal-themed artworks. Sketching, painting, constructing, and sculpting are all part of the program, providing something for everyone to enjoy!sketching in galleries 2painting in studiopaper animalssculpture animals 2IMG_2648

Imagination Celebration

Every year, thousands of young students visit the Sid Richardson Museum to tour our collection and experience hands-on learning activities in our studio. Many of our school group field trips are made possible through Imagination Celebration Fort Worth. To learn more about this organization, we talked with Executive Director Lauri Bevan.

What is Imagination Celebration Fort Worth?

LB: Imagination Celebration of Fort Worth (ICFW) started as part of an initiative by the Kennedy Center to celebrate the arts in communities in a festival format. We incorporated in 1989 to provide arts and cultural programming for K-12 students in Fort Worth. 25 years later, we are still serving the students of FWISD by discovering, creating and presenting innovative programming that integrates the arts with required curriculum in an effort to ignite learning and inspire creativity.Fay at painting

What kind of events/programs has ICFW created?

LB: We have created a myriad of programs throughout the years. Each year, we provide between 60-70,000 arts & cultural experiences for FWISD students (free of charge), producing performing arts programs, sending artists into schools and collaborating with other arts and cultural institutions in Fort Worth. ICFW produces lesson plans for teachers and study guides for students tying these experiences directly to grade-level required curriculum.

ICFW has created a number of special ongoing programs outside of the classroom. In the Young Artist Apprenticeship Program, talented high school artists meet regularly with professional visual artists throughout the school year. These students receive advanced instruction in artistic techniques, while also gaining insight into career options. For The Special Weekend for the Deaf, four-five hundred deaf and hard-of-hearing students, teachers and support staff from school districts across Texas come to Fort Worth for a weekend of performances, workshops and events by visual and performing artists, both deaf and hearing.

We are currently working on the development of a program that targets FWISD students identified as gifted in Science Technology Engineering and Math (with a strong arts tie).

We are also in the process of developing an arts centered program for Pre- K and K that targets literacy and school readiness. Mark playing

How is Imagination Celebration involved with the Sid Richardson Museum?

LB: We are proud to be partners with the Sid Richardson Museum. Imagination Celebration honors the superior educational programs offered by the Sid Richardson Museum by organizing field trips and transportation for up to 4,000 elementary kids per school year. The Sid Richardson is a treasure in our community and part of our communal roots and creation of our identity. The programs for students at the Sid contain all the best elements: hands on activities, art and social studies integrated, offered in an informal educational format at a beautiful institution filled with great art.Landscape painting

Why is ICFW important to the Fort Worth community?

LB: After 25 years, we are part of the fabric of our artistic, cultural and educational community! There are a number of former FWISD students (“Imaginers”) who will tell you that their lives and careers were impacted in positive way by ICFW Programs. However, not everyone understands what we do, because we are not tied to one art form or one institution. This gives us a wonderful flexibility to incorporate current opportunities in our community and respond to the evolving educational needs in our district. We can take advantage of special happenings in town, and work with the rich variety of institutions, to create powerful and relevant programming. ICFW discovers common threads in our community and makes connections for educational purposes.Buffalo skin

For more information about Imagination Celebration Fort Worth, visit their website.

The Power of Field Trips

BusField trips are a great way to enrich a child’s education outside the classroom. Recently, a group of education researchers conducted the first large-scale randomized-control study designed to measure what students learn from school tours of an art museum. They discovered that students who visit art museums possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for art and culture. The benefits are quite notable!IMG_1831

Every week, the Sid Richardson Museum hosts hundreds of students from FWISD and outlying school districts. Docents guide the children through the galleries as they learn about the artists’ ideas, lives, and paintings. Our museum is unique in that we have a dedicated studio classroom space where students can make art that relates to the collection. Studio activities are an enjoyable way for students to create personal connections with the artwork in the museum, encourage higher level thinking skills and practice creative expression with authentic mediums and techniques.Landscape painting demo 2Girls paintBoys paintTo learn more about the museum research study and the educational value of field trips, click here.

Cowboy Squared

To celebrate the spirit of the American West and the new Sundance Square Plaza, last weekend the Sid Richardson Museum hosted Cowboy Squared, a free family event. Children of all ages stopped by the museum’s studio to design their very own cowboy bandana. To personalize the bandana, the kids learned how to make their own brand, from the Rocking R to the Lazy M. And of course a cowboy would not be complete without his or her very own cowboy hat!  Afterwards, families corralled into the galleries to enjoy a scavenger hunt through the new exhibit, Western TreasuresIMG_1727croppedBandanas and Cowboy Hats


In partnership with Fort Worth Public Library’s Worth Reading Program, we hosted Storytelling at the Sid Richardson Museum. During this family fun event, participants enjoyed hearing stories related to paintings in the collection as told by our docents. In the process, the children learned how paintings like Remington and Russell’s inspire other art forms like writing, drawing, and storytelling. With their very own storytelling kit, each participant had the opportunity to continue the tradition and create their own stories based on works from the museum’s collection. Every painting is worth a thousand words!

October 19 2013 Storytelling Event Jim Rose BlogOctober 19 2013 Storytelling Event Patty Haluska BlogOctober 19 2013 Storytelling Event Jan Curtiss Blog

To learn more about the Fort Worth Public Library’s year round Worth Reading Program visit:

Art of Story Workshop

In partnership with the Fort Worth Library’s 2013-2014 Worth Reading initiative, the Sid Richardson Museum offered a children’s workshop about the Art of Story last weekend.

Storytelling in the gallery

Storytelling in the gallery

Our docents guided the children through the galleries, exploring the various narrative elements in paintings.

Kat instructing on the art of landscape painting

Kat instructing on the art of landscape painting

After spending time with the museum’s collection, the children moved to our studio classroom, where they used their recently acquired knowledge to create their very own landscape painting.

Young Masters at work

Young Masters at work

Kat Yount, Director of School and Family Programs, believes in the importance of using authentic artist supplies. She provides each student with painter’s acrylic and canvas. After learning the techniques of landscape painting and working with the materials, the students take to their canvases and let their creative juices flow!Young Master 1Young Master 3Young Master 2