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saturday workshops

Saturday Family Workshops 

$10 per participant, $5 for members, Adults accompanying children are free

Beginning October 2013, the PAA is excited to launch a series of Saturday Family Workshops. Saturday Family Workshops give kids and families a chance to experience visual art in a casual, fun, and interactive way. Make works of art using materials and themes related to the exhibitions on view in the galleries, and then take those creations home to hang on your own walls. Workshops are held Saturdays from 10 to 11:30am, before the galleries open to the general public, allowing for a uniquely intimate and relaxed experience for children and parents.

During the The Way of Chopsticks, an exhibition by Bejing based artists Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen on view through December 29th, the Saturday Family Workshops will focus on Chinese art and culture. Teaching artists Hua Hua Zhang and Robin Markle will join PAA staff in conducting these workshops in October, November, and December.

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Saturday Family Workshops are generously sponsored by Independence Blue Cross


The Art of Shadow Puppets
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 // 10:00-11:30AM
Join artist, performer and educator Hua Hua Zhang to learn about the Chinese tradition of shadow puppetry and to make a shadow puppet of your own.

The Way of Calligraphy
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 // 10:00-11:30AM
More than just a means of communication, calligraphy is also a vehicle for expressing inner feelings through precise and artful motions. Come learn the basic tools ad techniques essential to creating beautifully crafted Chinese characters and create your own calligraphy pieces to take home. Taught by Bejing-born, Philadelphia-based, artist and educator Hua Hua Zhang, this workshop provides a great Saturday morning activity for kids and adults ages 7 and older.

Creating a Family Story with Robin Markle
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 // 10:00-11:30AM
Stories bind us together, and every family has its own unique stories to share. Research has even shown that kids with a strong sense of their family’s narrative have higher self-esteem. Tell your own family’s stories and celebrate family traditions through this book making and collage workshop led by Philadelphia artist Robin Markle.

Note: Some workshops may age specifications. Please check the individual event description for more information. Dates and times subject to change, please check event listings for the most up to date information.


Adventure of the Stone Monkey: A Shadow Puppet Performance

$12 ($10 for members) Appropriate for adults and children of all ages.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance invites children and families to Adventure of the Stone Monkey, a shadow puppet performance based on the famous 16th century Chinese novel, Journey to the West. This action packed story, brought to life by the Philadelphia-based puppet artist Hua Hua Zhang and her company Visual Expressions, is about a monkey born from a stone who, through his strength and trickery, acquires great power, only to be outsmarted by a monk. Appropriate for adults and children of all ages.

Hua Hua Zhang Artist Bio:

MKK5Hua Hua Zhang is an artist, performer, and educator working primarily in the ancient Chinese art of puppetry. Hua Hua learned her craft in her hometown of Beijing, China, where by the age of 14 she was training as a performer in the ancient Chinese tradition of Rod Puppetry. She trained as a performer at the Beijing Performing Arts Academy from 1972-74, and after graduating was the lead performer for the Beijing Puppet Arts Troupe for more than 20 years, performing around the world and earning awards for both performance and direction. In 1996, Hua Hua moved to the United States to earn an MFA from the prestigious Puppet Arts Program at the University of Connecticut. Through her Philadelphia-based company Visual Expressions, founded in 2000, Hua Hua both entertains and educates American audiences about the ancient Chinese art of puppetry as well as other rich traditions of Chinese art and culture.


Robin Markle Artist Bio:

Philadelphia artist Robin Markle works independently and with local and national social justice organizations to use art as a vehicle for social change. A childcare provider and a member of the Philly Childcare Collective, Markle uses art and activism to address issues impacting children and families, including mass incarceration, education, and the environment. Markle has led numerous art workshops for youth, including Imagining the Future of Education, a workshop co-taught with Jenna Peters-Golden for Girls Rock Philly in May 2013, in which art was produced for Brick and Mortar, an exhibition co-curated by Markle and Peters-Golden addressing the closing of public schools in Philadelphia. Through her work as an artist and activist, Markle engages families and youth in creatively thinking about ways to create positive social change.