Parrish Unfolds Virtual Family Lesson Plan

Ragan Finalborgo
Willow, Jeffrey, and Ivy Mae Ingram.

Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill is getting creative amid social distancing. Introducing Parrish Home Art Studios, interactive online art programs for children and families — or for the inner child in all of us.

“In the middle of a stressful time, it can be hard to come up with ideas for kids,” said education director Cara Conklin-Wingfield, who has been at Parrish for 26 years. With schools closed and teachers navigating virtual lesson plans, many parents are scrambling for ways to entertain their households. “We’re just trying to figure out whatever way we can be helpful to families.”

Every Tuesday, Parrish’s education department releases six activities on the organization’s website. “If your family has enjoyed art workshops or open studios in the museum, you’ll love our weekly guides to art activities for six days of the week,” said assistant education director Jillian Bock. The museum already has the content and is only changing the way that content is delivered. “Doors open or closed, we’re here for the community with inspiring, creative ways to experience and make art,” Bock added.

Each project uses readily available materials, common in most homes, such as magazines, colored paper, glue, paintbrushes, plastic cups, and cans. Lesson plans, inspired by the works in the Parrish collection, will always offer alternative materials. Some activity examples include collaging with recycled papers, paper weaving, and experimental printmaking.

“Our children (ages five, six, and nine years old) are all enjoying the at-home Parrish art projects. We are great fans of the after-school program with Miss Wendy and these home projects make us feel like we’re being just as creative as if we were in the studio,” Ragan Finalborgo said.

All projects will remain on the site as it builds an archive. “We all believe that making art contributes to your well-being, that it’s important for just our existence and for humanity in general. So, we hope we can help and make it less stressful,” Conklin-Wingfield said.

Find all projects online at and make sure to tag #ParrishHomeArtStudios

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