Community Art Days and Art Days at the Gardener’s Market will both continue this summer despite the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University being closed until June.
The museum’s education coordinator, Emily Byrd, has overseen the Art Days for the last four months and is excited for the start of the Cache Valley Gardener’s Market.
“Every second Saturday we will continue to host a community art day at Utah State and every fourth Saturday we will bring the mobile art truck to the market at the (Historic) Cache County Courthouse,” Byrd said.
This Saturday, Byrd is hoping for sunny spring weather so that community members can come together to create a chalk art mandala.
“Rather than having people freestyle, we wanted the community to contribute to a group project,” Byrd said. “Mandalas have been a source of wholeness for a long time and we wanted the project to be both fun and meditative.”
May’s community art day will start at 9 a.m. and go until 11:30 a.m. between the museum and the Caine Performance Center. Usually the community would be invited to visit the museum after working on their art project, but the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum won’t resume normal operating hours until June 4.
For now, Byrd is preparing multiple events for the summer, including meditation at the museum classes and woven paper placemats for June’s art day.
“If people have events and want the art truck to come to that event, they should fill out the form online,” Byrd said. “We do classroom visits and other events all year long. We are always available to come and do a project, free of charge.”
NEHMA’S mobile art truck was made possible thanks to a $30,000 grant USU received in 2015 from a charitable foundation. The truck has been used to educate a variety of different people including K-12 students in Cache Valley but also has been present at the Cache Valley Gardener’s Market.
“These art days are a really good resource for infusing more creativity in life,” Byrd said. “It is vital for people to have a creative outlet.”
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the fourth Saturday, a table with an art project will be available at the market. The truck also serves as a pop-up art installation.
“It’s exciting and engaging for people of all ages,” Byrd said. “We want to share the skills of art-making and teach things that people might want to learn.”
Byrd said that the museum reopened in September 2018 and she worries that some may not have realized that the museum is open again.
“This is a good opportunity for community members to come see what’s new, no matter their age,” Byrd said. “People should come have fun and make some art even if they don’t have a family to bring with them.”