Science illustrator Kathy Hocker talks to 10 children in the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum’s classroom Saturday during a Youth Art Activity. Tools stood in for artifacts, and blue tape on the floor provides an easy-to-follow guide that allowed the kids to update their own dig site grids on paper. (Capital City Weekly | Ben Hohenstatt)

Science illustrator Kathy Hocker talks to 10 children in the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum’s classroom Saturday during a Youth Art Activity. Tools stood in for artifacts, and blue tape on the floor provides an easy-to-follow guide that allowed the kids to update their own dig site grids on paper. (Capital City Weekly | Ben Hohenstatt)

Youth Art Activity focuses on artifacts and scientific sketches

Monthly series helps kids engage with art, science and history

It was a scientific Saturday morning for the kids in the Alaska State Museum classroom.

November’s First Saturday youth art activity was an exploration of archaeology and sketching with scientific illustrator Kathy Hocker.

Hocker talked to the 8-to-11-year-old kids in the morning session about how digs are done, what artifacts are, making inferences and more. She showed the youngsters slides of real digs, and they got hands-on time to draw real artifacts from the museum’s collection.

The activity is part of a monthly series that’s partially funded by the City and Borough of Juneau through sales tax revenue awarded to Friends of the Alaska State Library Archives and Museum (FOSLAM). The events are also sponsored by FOSLAM.

Future activities include a workshop that uses vintage cloth, children’s drawings and basic stitches to create an heirloom on Dec. 5, and games and activities on Jan. 4, which is the last day of winter break.

The Youth Art Activities allow kids to work with professional artists and engage with art, history and the state library, archives and museum’s collections.

“When we put in our application, we calculate the cost of art supplies and the activity,” said Claire Imamura, youth activity coordinator.

From there, it’s determined what will be awarded to the activities, and FOSLAM helps cover the difference between the grant and the cost of activities, Imamura said.

That keeps the activities free, although registration ahead of time is preferred.

At Saturday’s activity, Hocker set up a mock dig site grid for 10 attendees to draw on pieces of paper, and there was also a short excursion into the museum to see a real example of something recovered through archaeology.

More than one exchange left a young mind reeling.

“So they’ve been digging for six years, and they’ve found over 6,000 artifacts?” asked Isabella Davidson, 10.

Hocker told Davidson she had misheard and the actual number was 60,000.

“Wow,” Davidson said.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com.


Science illustrator Kathy Hocker talks to Emma Dorsey, 10, who contemplates an artifact that she might sketch. (Ben Hohenstatt Capital City Weekly)

Science illustrator Kathy Hocker talks to Emma Dorsey, 10, who contemplates an artifact that she might sketch. (Ben Hohenstatt Capital City Weekly)

A sketch of an adze done by science illustrator Kathy Hocker. Children at the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum did their own sketches of artifacts Saturday during a Youth Art Activity. (Ben Hohenstatt Capital City Weekly)

A sketch of an adze done by science illustrator Kathy Hocker. Children at the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum did their own sketches of artifacts Saturday during a Youth Art Activity. (Ben Hohenstatt Capital City Weekly)

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