Making art out of a big mess

MARQUETTE – Getting a chance to be creative can be good for children. Make a Mess Art Class is a workshop that give children the opportunity to be creative in many ways.

Make a Mess Art Class is a workshop for children of all ages to come to and do art projects ranging from painting to making modeling compound to sanding and painting scrap wood. On Tuesday, participates got to make a mosaic with beans and glue. The class was first held in October and was created by Wendy Johnson, the instructor, and Tiina Harris, the Marquette Arts and Culture Center director.

“Tiina knew I was an artist and that I do the Art on the Rocks Pebble Corner, so she had approached me and asked me about doing a class,” Johnson said. “Our typical projects involve painting. One day I brought in little wood scraps for our workshop and we sanded them and painted them.”

The classes are an hour long and if the project gets done early, Johnson said she will bring out paints and give the chance for the students to make a creation.

“I just love the kids and doing art is so fun to share,” she said. “I tend to use a lot of natural stuff in my projects. Like one day I went walking along a river and gather up a whole bunch of driftwood and we made little ferry mobiles with it.”

Jamie Kitchel brings her 2-year-old daughter, Grace, to Make a Mess Art Class to have fun and make art projects. Kitchel said she thinks that Grace really enjoys the class.

“I think it’s fun for her to see what other kids create and be able to watch that and then do her own thing,” she said. “She gets very excited to bring her own creations home, too.”

The class is held in the lower level of Peter White Public Library by the Marquette Arts and Culture Center. Among the reasons Kitchel said she brings Grace to the class is that it’s a good way for her daughter to socialize.

“We can do art at home but it’s nice to have Grace out with other kids doing art together and supporting a community event,” she said. “It’s nice to be somewhere where there’s something different every week and different from what we may be able to do at home.”

Kitchel said she’s very grateful for the library and the variety of options that it provides to the community.

“I grew up going to the library as a child with my brother and my mom and I have a lot of good memories from that and it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to continue to do with my own children,” she said.

Make a Mess Art Class is every first and third Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The class will be held through May. For more information visit

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is