Craftsmen at Work is Peters Valley’s educational outreach program whose objective is to bring contemporary and traditional crafts to area schools in an effort to introduce, educate and increase the children’s awareness of crafts. The artists that Peters Valley asks to participate in this program are all professional, working artists. The majority of artists have their Masters Degrees. Peters Valley handpicks them for not only their artistic ability but also their ability to interact with children. The artists not only demonstrate their craft; they bring completed work of their own to show the participants. Each program is tailored to the age of the kids participating.
Traditionally, Peters Valley conducts a day of craft demonstrations given by its studio department heads, resident artists and local professional craftspeople working in jewelry, surface design and weaving, wood, photography, ceramics, blacksmithing, etc. Students interact with four different craftspeople as they observe the various processes, materials and tools involved.
This program is usually run in a gymnasium or multi-purpose room and is set up as four stations. The children (in groups of 10-15) visit each station for approx. 15 minutes and watch the demonstration and interact with the artists. This is usually a full day program but can be tailored to the school’s particular needs. There can also be some flexibility in the type of crafts represented in the program. (If the school has a particular craft they wish to have, Peters Valley will do their best to represent that, and if the school already has a particular program and does not wish to include a certain craft, another can be substituted.) The cost for this day-long program is $1,500. Peters Valley pays the artists directly and your organization simply provides space and organizes the groups.
Begun in 1987, over forty thousand students from all over NJ, NY and PA have participated in this program. This popular program has inspired similar programs in other schools, using Peters Valley as a resource.
Craftsmen at Work has been extended to also include hands-on workshops. Want something more hands-on? Peters Valley will work together with your organization to find the appropriate artist and project to be presented as a workshop at your facility at a date and time that is convenient for you. Pricing varies depending on the project, length of workshop and number of participants and is dealt with on a case by case basis.
Contact Raechel Bihler for more information or to schedule a program: registrar (@) petersvalley.org