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updated: 1/8/2014 5:02 PM

Children learn about shapes in nature during Lake County museum program

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  • Stephanie Johnson, 4, of Lake Zurich, uses circle shapes to make a ladybug bookmark during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda. The Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature and coincided with the artwork exhibit of Charles Harper.

       Stephanie Johnson, 4, of Lake Zurich, uses circle shapes to make a ladybug bookmark during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda. The Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature and coincided with the artwork exhibit of Charles Harper.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Leo Porten, 18-months-old, of Island Lake, plays with the tangrams board during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda. The Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature and coincided with the artwork exhibit of Charles Harper.

       Leo Porten, 18-months-old, of Island Lake, plays with the tangrams board during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda. The Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature and coincided with the artwork exhibit of Charles Harper.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

Children learned about shapes and using them to make animals during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

"It's always good to have something with art and nature," museum educator Seleena Kuester explained. "We always try to tie in one of the Small Discovery programs with the art exhibits on display. This time, it was to go with the Charley Harper exhibit."

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Eleven children and their parents attended the Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature that coincided with the Harper artwork exhibit.

The event featured storytime, with Kuester reading books such as "Color Farm" by Lois Ehlert and "Shapes, Shapes, Shapes" by Tana Hoban.

The group toured the Harper exhibit and looked at artwork that featured stylized animals, including ladybugs, seals, and herons.

The youngsters made ladybug bookmarks and tangram animals using basic shapes of paper and glue.

"I love it. We come to these all the time," Island Lake resident Anna Porton said as she helped her sons, Leo and Owen, work on their bookmarks. "It's really neat that they learned about shapes and that they could see shapes in everything."

Harper, a wildlife artist, lived on a West Virginia farm and loved nature. He used his stylized animals and humor to promote environmental awareness. He referred to his art style as "minimal realism," and used simple shapes and bold colors to capture the essence of his subjects.

The exhibit of his work can be seen at the Lake County Discovery Museum through Feb. 16.

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