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Museum of Friends school tours

by Maria Berger

WALSENBURG- On Monday, June 16th the first group of student participants from Peakview School Summer Session were treated to a special introduction to the Museum of Friends, located at 109 East Sixth Street in Walsenburg, above the Duckwalls store.

    Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers Carolyn Brown, Marilyn Kelly and Tobias DeHerrera planned with Maria C-Berger of MOF to design the School-Tour “Visual Images” menu selection with insects and patterns as the focus.  The 26 students walked from Peakview down Main Street to kick-off the program. 

    Once inside, they were offered an assortment of objects found in nature to handle and examine closely.  Large shells, sea horses, pine cones, illustrated the natural patterns found in nature such as the spiral, and branching pattern.  There was even a giant sequoia tree pinecone that wowed the audience/participants. 

    Examples from MOF’s art collection that draw on pattern for inspiration such as Arnold Weschler’s abstraction began a useful discussion to help the students become sensitive to what they would be seeing during their tour.  Likewise, insects, an endless fascination to both children and artists alike are found in Roberto Juarez’s and Frank Viner’s narrative works.  

    The large group was divided into five smaller groups with one adult leader – including aid Lee Anne Webb, and high school intern Frank Garcia equipped with pencil and paper each student found some pattern or insect that became their art.  After an hour and a half the children returned to their classroom to continue their work on these themes. 

    The whole event took place right here in Walsenburg.  It was an amazing experience.  Beth Harper and Brendt Berger were also on hand to help realize our goals.  The staff of the Museum of Friends, will present a post-project in their classroom next week to create prints based on their experience here.  Watch for the date for the new exhibition at the Courthouse that will feature this work. 

    Tours may be organized by calling 719-738-2858, or by emailing to

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