Packed with possibilities

Published on 15 September 2021

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What’s better than 500 paper aeroplanes? 500 paper art packs, going out to 500 families on the MidCoast for the September school holidays, thanks to a collaboration between the Manning Regional Art Gallery and MidCoast Libraries.

Each pack contains:

  • A Tunnel Book Project: part picture book, part sculpture, part accordion. This project is composed of a series of frames arranged in sequence to create, through the front window on the cover, a three-dimensional scene. The pack includes six templates and an instruction sheet, plus a link to a video tutorial.
  • A Colourful Cut-out Project: inspired by the drawing-with-scissors technique and wild colourism of early 20th century French artist Henri Mattisse, with step-by-step instructions and a selection of coloured papers.
  • An A3 colouring in sheet created by local author/illustrator Stephen Michael King, running with the Children’s Book Council of Australia book week theme ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’.

The collaboration between Manning Regional Art Gallery and MidCoast Libraries began three years ago in celebration of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at the Manning Entertainment Centre and has bloomed into a series of activity packs and video tutorials as part of the Make@Home series.

“This collaboration has been supercharged by the lockdown closures over the last couple of years and it’s our way of staying connected with our community,” said Ali, the Gallery’s Public Programs and Education Engagement Officer.

“During lockdown, families had been finding themselves cooped up and these packs were created with them in mind, to provide fun activities without the need for technology.”

“We’d love to get feedback from the families who use this service so we can ensure we’re continuing to engage the kids. We’re always happy to evolve.”

With the news that lockdown has lifted, the Library is now also able to run its traditional face-to-face school holiday program, complementing the take home packs.

This year there will be a wide variety of events happening, from DIY garden gnomes and bee hotels to tunnel books, and families are encouraged to book in for the events, as well as taking advantage of the take-home packs.

Families are also invited to take photographs of their completed projects from these September packs and share them on social media, tagging Manning Regional Art Gallery and MidCoast Libraries.

This school holidays’ art packs will be available on 15 September through the Libraries’ Click and Collect service and a list of events can also be found on the website https://library.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Home OR pick up your pack from Manning Regional Art Gallery.