Art as an opportunity for creativity, connection, and communication

Hello Friends,

The other day some colleagues and I were discussing what defines us as the Lawrence Arts Center. Beyond all the buzz words of integrity, commitment to quality, having fun, enrichment, etcetera, etcetera, we dug deeper into what motivates us, inspires us, keeps us moving forward into new frontiers. The more we spoke about it, the more we confirmed that, across all our different disciplines, we all believe in the simple statement “art makes life better”. This simple tenet is at the core of our motivation and inspiration, and can really be amended to “art makes Lawrence better”.  

Finding your why ( is the foundation for how you act, what you do. It allows us to then think about all the different ways we can represent that why or activate that why or connect to that why or expand that why. I think this idea can be applied to a lot of the motivation behind education in the arts. Check out this fun lesson from the MoMA:

Sol LeWitt is a great example of letting the concept drive the work and allowing the exploration and expansion of the why find its way into the process. Our friends at the Spencer displayed a piece of his a few years back ( and, I must tell you, I am in love with LeWitt’s quote: “The idea or the concept is the most important aspect of the work.” If we at the Arts Center are able to use art as an opportunity for creativity, connection, and communication, our young learners will be able to amplify their why. Then, truly, art will make their lives, and Lawrence, better.


Neal Barbour

Director of Youth Education


stARTup: New Cohort, New Shows!

Every Fall we look forward to a new group of developing high school artists joining us to participate in stARTup. This youth class connects student participants to local resources including technical guidance, specialists in specific mediums, and local galleries. The program culminates in final solo exhibitions for each of the participants. Stay up to date with stARtup as the program progresses by visiting our blog, and check in with the amazing work generated through Creative Youth Development at the LAC.

School’s Out! Workshops

Does your child have an open friday? Our School’s Out! workshops for elementary and middle school students provide creative enrichment opportunities outside of the usual six week sessions. These one to two full day classes offer visual art and movement activities developed around imaginative themes, scheduled around the public school calendar.


Woodland Creatures

Cooler weather provides a perfect opportunity for outdoor engagement. Undertake a naturalist adventure in flora inspired art and creature based performance. Animals and Autumn leaves abound! Elementary students can explore Woodland Creatures Friday, October 12th from 9AM to 4PM.







Illuminated Arts

A great activity for the darker days of fall, Illuminated Arts is guaranteed to brighten your child’s day with radiant painting projects, glow stick dances, and blacklights galore! The one-day class will meet on Friday October, 19th from 9 AM to 4 PM. Learn more about Illuminated Arts on the blog and enroll today!

Middle School Movie Making

School’s out and we challenge you to write, direct, act, and edit a movie in just 2 days! Think you’re up to it? Join Christie Dobson Thursday October, 18 and Friday October, 19th for LAC’s version of a movie marathon! 

New sessions of 6-week classes begin the week of October 22. Enroll today!

School has started, the seasons are changing, and all of us are breathing a sigh of relief as we adjust to the challenge of a new schedule. Did you miss one of our Youth Visual Arts classes the first time around? Not to worry! We’re starting a new group of six-week classes beginning the week of October 22nd.