Photo submitted – Tug Hill artist and community scholar Loretta Lepkowski (2017 TAUNY North Country Heritage Award recipient) will offer a hands-on art and nature activity at this year’s Nancy Wilder Palmateer Memorial Children’s Workshop at TAUNY on April 28.

TAUNY presents the next Nancy Wilder Palmateer Memorial Children’s Workshop “Wildlife to Watercolors with Loretta Lepkowski” on Saturday, April 28 from 1:00-3:00pm at The TAUNY Center in Canton. Elementary to middle-school-aged children and their families are invited to explore nature and art with Tug Hill artist Loretta Lepkowski, a 2017 TAUNY Heritage Award recipient. Loretta is a painter, storyteller, and great observer of local life and the natural environment. She will guide children in an activity to reflect on their own local environment and use watercolors to paint their favorite wild critter or natural scene. A variety of hands-on nature and wildlife reference materials will be available to explore. Children will also have a chance to see some show and tell with traditional objects crafted with natural materials, and to learn about how the natural environment is integral to the living art and craft traditions of our region.

All materials will be provided. Children are also welcome to bring something from nature that they would like to show or paint at the workshop. This workshop is free. Pre-registration is required for planning purposes by calling 315-386-4289 or online at tauny.org.

This workshop is made possible by the Nancy Wilder Palmateer Memorial Fund. This fund was established by the Palmateer and Wilder families in 2015 to honor the creative side of Nancy Wilder Palmateer, to recognize her work with children, and to encourage hands-on engagement for young people.

Loretta Lepkowski is an artist with deep roots in the rugged land and life of the Tug Hill region of New York’s North Country. She observes, documents, and shares the richness of local life and heritage through her art as well as community projects in partnership with TAUNY and other organizations such as the Tug Hill Commission and Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. Recent projects include her painting series “Celebrating Family Farms of the Tug Hill Region” and the “Venerable Folks of Tug Hill” oral history project, TAUNY exhibit, and traveling exhibit which continues to tour the region. In 2017, Loretta received a TAUNY North Country Heritage Award for her folkloric work documenting and sharing ways of life and living traditions from agricultural and woodland heritage to the Polish American culture of her own family and others in the area. She loves to highlight regional experience not only through her own art and projects, but also through hands-on workshops sharing skills and knowledge with children and families.

TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati says, “Loretta’s generosity, creativity, and enthusiasm are boundless, and it’s a great opportunity for kids and families to get to spend an afternoon immersed in the wonders of art and nature with her. It’s also a wonderful way to honor Nancy Wilder Palmateer and her love of both watercolor painting and the beautiful, exciting natural world of the North Country, as well as her work helping kids share great experiences like these.”

The TAUNY Center is located at 53 Main Street, Downtown Canton, NY. TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people understand and appreciate the folk traditions and local culture of everyday life–present and past–in the North Country. To do so, TAUNY seeks to research and preserve a record of diverse groups, customs and traditions; to recognize and empower traditional arts and artists; to identify and promote regional identity; and to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about folklore and culture. More information is available at tauny.org.