Hands-on Projects

Peter Powning: A Retrospective

On loan for exhibition from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, NB, for the months of June and July 2023, these sculptures by artist Peter Powning truly demonstrate the talent and artistic range of one of Canada’s premier craftspeople. Read through this PDF to learn more about Powning and the techniques he uses to create work in clay, glass, metal and wood, and explore mixed media sculpture using commonly found art supplies.

Cross Stitch Project

Check out some incredible historical examples of cross-stitch in the collections of the Tides Institute, and try your hand at stitching a small-scale, contemporary design of your choosing. This activity is easy for beginners and yet can be extended for those who enjoy this needlework process.

Shackford Head State Park: Bird Watching and Indexing Project

Birding is a common past-time, and this time of year is a great time to observe migratory birds returning to the area! We’re fortunate to have lots of nearby places to see birds. Learn about Shackford Head State Park in Eastport. This activity provides information about commonly-seen birds in the park and has a printout format for recording observations and making drawings of birds on index cards — easy to take along on a hike! To inspire you, see some examples of birds from the region depicted in artwork from the Tides Institute’s collection.

Paper Bag House and Self-Guided Eastport Architectural Tour

Spring has sprung! Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with a self-guided tour of Eastport buildings that includes several architectural styles. Download an activity kit to make a house from a paper bag and other readily available supplies.

Poetry as Visual Art

April is National Poetry Month, but to celebrate year-round, this activity will get you thinking about poetry forms as well as the visual presentation of poems. In 2015, TIMA published a letterpress poster featuring a commissioned poem by Heather McHugh printed by Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press in Nova Scotia. This activity is based on that publication, and hopefully will inspire you to enjoy writing and designing a layout for your poem(s).

Salvaged Script

This project is inspired by Salvaged Script, an 2022 exhibition at the Tides Institute by Charley Young, an artist & educator originally from Alberta, Canada, who is now based in Nova Scotia, Canada. The works in the exhibition were based on architectural salvage items in the Tides collection and created using methods from both printmaking and sculpture.  Follow the instructions and discover shapes and patterns to use for making a rubbing and create a bookmark. This technique can be used to make other paper-based projects, such as notecards or wrapping paper, or the basis of artwork of your own.

Crazy Quilt Craze

Learn about the Victorian past-time of making crazy quilts from many kinds of fabrics, and learn about crazy quilts made in the Pasamaquoddy Bay area now in the museum’s collection. Follow the directions to join a virtual quilting bee and make a “crazy quilt” style project using collage items at home — patterned paper, magazines, newspaper, and tape or glue.

Hand-Painted Porcelain Pastime: Mattie Waide

Read about Mattie Waide of Eastport and the decorative arts movement she enjoyed. Hand-painting porcelain was popular in the Victorian era. Try your hand at decorating a paper plate or design a plate using art supplies at home — colored pencils, markers, collage supplies.

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