South Bend Museum of Art Education Blog

A Place Where Art Education is Discussed and Explored!

We’d love to be your stepping stone

Michiana artist, Mary Firtl, began her brilliant career as a youth art student at SBMA.

As the young students in our youth classes fill our studios this summer, we can’t help but wonder where art will take them.  It is our sincere hope that all of them will discover an inner excitement and creativity that will bring them confidence and joy, no matter what they go on to do.  But perhaps there are a few children here this summer who are embarking on a lifelong journey in the fine arts, and will someday look back upon SBMA as the foundation of their passion and success.

This is the story of local artist, Mary Firtl.  A Michiana native, Mary first came to SBMA – known as the “Art Center” back then – when she was five years old, and now her artwork is for sale in our Dot Shop.  We are  proud to have been a constant companion and support network for Mary throughout the years and to be a place that she can call home.  To LEARN MORE ABOUT MARY FIRTL and A LIFELONG CONNECTION to SBMA, CLICK HERE.


A Nice Escape

Cindy, left, and Cameron, right working steadily on their designs

We first introduced you to the Kanczuzewski family a couple of weeks ago. As you may recall, mom Cindy and two of her children, Maddie and Cameron, are participating in this year’s pop art inspired Festival of Banners. They have been working steadily on their designs, visiting our studio almost weekly to put the finishing touches on their colorful artworks. We recently popped in on them again to see how things are moving along, but also to learn more about what Festival of Banners can teach a first time painter. Join us by reading more about what Cindy, Maddie, and Cameron have learned on their journeys, one brush stroke at a time.

The best advertising ever


When we plan out the editorial calendar for this very blog, we find ourselves brainstorming ways to communicate to you, our readers, and anyone else who may come along, just how much we want to be a place you can appreciate and turn to for all things art-related.  We set up our schedule of postings and get to work fine tuning this message, hoping that it will be well delivered and well received.

Then, a guest contributor agrees to help us out and blows us out of the water.

We find ourselves thrilled and humbled by what our friend and long-time SBMA member, Karen Chambers, had to say when we asked her to share why she has been so committed to the programs and classes we offer.  Without further ado, we invite you to LEARN MORE ABOUT the VALUE of SBMA ART CLASSES by CLICKING HERE.

And, most importantly, thank you, Karen!

Why You Should Meet Us on the Island

Here at SBMA, we pride ourselves on lots of things. From our quality exhibitions to our excellent educational programs to our stellar staff, we have a lot to be proud of. Did we mention our ability to throw a rocking summer party? On Friday June 29th, we invite you to join us at one of our signature summer events, “Meet Me on the Island”. In collaboration with WVPE, we are pleased to present you an ART-ful evening filled with live music, cool drinks, and local art and artists along a beautiful river front location. Still undecided? Keep reading as we share with you our top reasons why you should “Meet Us on the Island” June 29th.

Easy Breezy Summer Art

ImageOne of the best parts of living in Northern Indiana in the summertime is its close proximity to Lake Michigan and all the beauty which she provides. From the sands of Saint Joseph to the dunes of Sawyer, there is no shortage of beach or summer fun to be found. Just as the shoreline stretches for miles and miles, so too do the possibilities for easy breezy summer art projects! Put on your flip flops, grab a towel, and join us in the sand for some great ideas to keep those young minds busy!

Mom (and kids) go Pop! for F.O.B.

Coming soon…a banner featuring South Bend’s Mayor Pete – pop style!

A little while back we told you that Festival of Banners was coming, and now it’s here!  Submitted designs for this year’s theme – “Pop on Parade” – were judged, and winning designs were chosen.  But it’s right about now that the action is really underway as the selected artists are beginning to work on their original, hand-painted banners in the SBMA studios.  With only two months to go until the banners are on display in downtown South Bend, our Festival of Banners participants are busy bringing their pop art visions to life.

From now until August, we’ll be checking in with not one, but three of our Festival of Banners participants, to see what it’s like to take transform  their 4″ x 6″ submissions into banners.  The  dynamic, creative members of the Kanczuzewski family have agreed to let us look over their shoulders as we bring you an inside experience of this great community-based program.

To LEARN MORE about Cindy, Maddie and Cameron, and their BANNER DESIGNS, CLICK HERE.

Reaping what we sow at SBMA

Jewelry by metal smith Stefanie Buysse, who will teach one of SBMA’s summer courses this year.

Sometimes we at SBMA feel like proud momma birds as we watch our studio art students develop the talents and passions that allow them to take flight as our local, gifted artists.  We offer our students the resources, time and space to learn an art form, and in no time at all they are inspiring us with their artwork, or in the case of Stefanie Buysse, returning to us as faculty members leading their own studio art classes.

This summer, Stefanie will be teaching our “Explore Precious Metal Clay with Metal Smithing – Beginner” class, which is  designed to teach students the basics of both PMC and metal smith techniques.  To LEARN MORE ABOUT STEFANIE and how SBMA NURTURES ARTISTS, CLICK HERE.

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