- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 2, 2003

"Draw whatever is in your heart," says art teacher Anka Zaremba. "Draw and draw and draw."

So begins another Sunday Tradition, a free special art workshop for children at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. On this winter day during Printmaking Fun, 35 or so creative souls, all with parents in tow, are learning about printmaking the fun way.

Young artists are warmed up via a quick tour through a printmaking space in the art school, then assembled at tables in the education workshop. There, guided by Ms. Zaremba and several volunteers, the children are invited to create different kinds of prints, using several techniques.

Anna Sheridan, a 10-year-old District resident, is there with her mother, Peggy Sheridan. Anna cuts heart shapes from a piece of orange construction paper and awaits the next suggestion.

"Anna said, 'Let's do something in Washington today,' " her mother says. "I went online and found this program … and we drove straight down."

Ms. Sheridan says she and her daughter frequently find special activities to do together, "but we haven't done art before. I wanted to show her that there are lots of different types of appreciation."

Six-year-old Sophie Knoll of Northwest Washington busily stamps black construction paper, applying iridescent paint using everyday items such as corks and cut potatoes. Her mother, Sara Knoll, says her daughter definitely is having fun, especially because she is getting to paint with her favorite color, pink.

"This is great because I won't let her make this kind of mess at home," Ms. Knoll says. "I have this stuff there, but I never would have thought to do it."

Actually, the staff at the Corcoran thought of this years ago. Sunday Traditions have been a tradition there for several years. Scheduled nearly every other week, the workshops range in topics from collage to silk-screening to painting to sculpture. They usually last about two hours, and the programs are designed for children ages 5 to 12, says Sarah Loffman, coordinator of education programs.

"Art making is a very important part of the Corcoran," she says. "We wanted to create an interesting experience for kids coming to the museum to let them look at and be inspired by the work and then create something on their own."

The Sunday Traditions workshops are taught by professional artists full of great ideas, says Ms. Loffman, "who always bring in a couple of special materials that parents wouldn't have at home, which makes the projects special and doable in two hours."

Sunday Traditions workshops also serve as conduits between child and adult, Ms. Loffman says.

"We're trying to encourage a dialogue between children and their adult companions," she says. "It's the idea of looking at something and then creating a project based on that gathering materials, asking them why they're making certain artistic decisions and encouraging them to try different techniques."

Zachary Schudrich, 12, of Silver Spring, is applying black ink to a clear mat to create a monoprint. He and his three siblings are enjoying the workshop with the help of their parents, Wendy and Alex Schudrich.

"Our kids happen to be particularly artistic," Mr. Schudrich says. "To be able to combine it with the educational side of it … they really like to apply it to what they're learning."

Zachary says he really likes art, "and my mom says I have a good talent for it. With art, I like it that there's no making mistakes."

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