Papermaker debuts children's museum's visiting artist program

This summer DuPage Children's Museum will give children the chance to create side-by-side with a working artist as it launches a new artist-in-residence program.

Claire Reynes, a Chicago-based papermaker and educator, is the first guest artist in the program that will bring professional artists with a variety of expertise to the museum's studio.

As the artist-in-residence, Reynes has brought a pop-up papermaking studio to the museum.

"The papermaking process is extremely inclusive," Reynes said. "Because of the range of the craft and the sensory quality of materials, children as young as 12 months old can engage in the experience by pouring pulp into a container or squeezing colored pulp onto a wet sheet. A 5-year-old can stand next to their grandparent, both working with the same tools, and each will come out of the vat with completely different interpretations of the material."

Reynes graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in art education and is certified to teach art in kindergarten through high school.

Her teaching experience includes a creative seminar at Walter Payton High School in Chicago, a summer program for After School Matters at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago's Humboldt Park, and an after-school art program at Longfellow Elementary in Oak Park. She currently teaches art at Mark Twain Elementary School in Chicago.

"No matter where I am teaching or who I am working with, I am always striving to cultivate that sense of community, which in turn fosters an open, creative energy," Reynes said.

Reynes will be in the museum's studio from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays through Thursday, Aug. 9. She also will be at the museum's booth at Naperville Art League's Riverwalk Fine Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16.

The artist-in-residence program invites children and families to observe, learn and interact with a professional artist. The artist and children will share in a collaborative, open-ended process of creating art together.

"This enriching environment and creative arts experience provides opportunities to further a child's understanding and appreciation of visual art, helps children find the artistic potential in unlikely materials, and engages children in the joy and freedom of self-expression, discovery and imagination," said Theresa Suchy McGraw, the museum's art specialist.

The residency is partially funded by the city of Naperville's Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund. The museum is seeking additional funding to expand the artist-in-residence program to a yearlong experience.

For information about the program or sponsorship opportunities, contact McGraw at (630) 637-8000, ext. 3100, or

For museum information, visit

Visitors of all ages can try their hand at papermaking alongside Claire Reynes, a Chicago-based papermaker who is the DuPage Children's Museum's artist-in-residence. Courtesy of the DuPage Children's Museum
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