“Art & Nature Workshop: Nature in Your Pocket,” led by Artist Robin Person, is June 27. Image: MS Museum of Natural Science

Merging art with nature, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is hosting a series of workshops this summer and fall, geared toward older teens and adults. Event Planner & Conservation Educator Nicole Smith details more on the sessions and how to register.

Can you tell us more about the programming?

When most people think of MDWFP’s Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, they think of engaging live animal exhibits, beautiful trails, and events for the whole family. What they may not realize is that the museum also encourages a deeper understanding of nature through art. When the museum re-located to Lefleur’s Bluff State Park over 20 years ago, area artists were commissioned to interpret the wildlife and habitats of Mississippi for the museum. Throughout the museum are sculptures, paintings, and batiks that provide insight into the biodiversity of our state. These new workshops are an opportunity to experience the natural world by making your own works of art with the guidance of local artists and naturalists.

What are some of the topics that will be covered?

Each workshop is unique. Want to learn basic watercolor techniques for nature journaling? Artist Sam Beibers will take you on the trails and teach you how. Always loved still life paintings but wasn’t sure how to begin? Mississippi artist Ellen Langford will provide instruction on how to create your own work of art. The next workshop, called “Nature in Your Pocket,” will happen on June 27 and is led by naturalist, historian, and artist Robin Person. In this workshop, leaves, flowers, bones, and other unique materials will be used to create a “pocket museum” in a portable tin. The finished products are beautiful and truly individual. Other workshops focus on making functional art that enriches backyard habitats for wildlife.  

What do you hope participants take from this series?

In a technologically driven world, taking time to observe nature and create provides much-needed “me” time for individuals while also providing an opportunity for families to bond. These workshops will sharpen your observational skills so you can more fully experience the natural world. Meeting these artists and learning from them will enrich your life not only through the art you will make but from the connection to nature that you will strengthen. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy nature. But enjoying nature may help you become an artist. The best part to me is that no experience is required. You can be a total beginner and have a great experience.

What are the dates, times and titles of each workshop?

SUNDAY, June 27, 1:30-3:30 pm – “Art & Nature Workshop: Nature in Your Pocket,” led by Artist Robin Person

SUNDAY, August 29, 1:30-3:00 pm – “Build-a-Leaf-Birdbath Workshop,” led by MS Wildlife Rehabilitation

SUNDAY, September 19, 1:30-3:00 pm – “Build-a-Blue Bird-Nesting Box,” led by MS Wildlife Rehabilitation

SUNDAY, October 10, 1:30-4:00 pm – “Art & Nature Workshop: Still Life,” led by Artist Ellen Langford

SUNDAY, November 7, 1:30-3:30 pm – “Art & Nature Workshop: Art in the Woods,” led by Artist Sam Beibers

Each workshop is $35 per person and includes all supplies and museum admission.

Smith added, “Those of us who live in Mississippi are so blessed. We live in a state with significant biodiversity and artistic talent. That the two seem to go together cannot be an accident. We are so fortunate to have these area artists share their time, letting us get to know them and nature a little better. I hope you sign up….and bring a friend! What a wonderful thing to do with someone you love.”

Visit the museum’s calendar to register at mdwfp.com/museum.aspx. For more information, email nicole.smith@mmns.ms.gov.