Dads create projects with their kids in new art collaboration


BENNINGTON >> Hair dryers were blowing, paint was being squeezed out of tubes and t-shirts had bleach on them. It wasn't a mess created at home, rather the scene of a Dads Create session at Vermont Arts Exchange.

Every Wednesday fathers bring their children to workshop in the studio at VAE. The free program is hosted in collaboration with Sunrise Family Resource Center and the Vermont Children's Trust Foundation. Kevin's Sports Pub & Restaurant supplies salad and Ramunto's donates pizza.

"There was a need in the community for a dads group," said Michelle Weyers, a family support worker at Sunrise. "After some thought, I contacted Matthew. It's open to the community."

Projects being constructed last week included drawings, paintings, print making, sculptures and building. Matthew Marks, Forest Byrd and Matthew Perry, VAE executive director assisted.

"The whole mission is for dads and kids to spend quality time together," Weyers said.

The workshop is made possible through a grant from the Vermont Children's Trust Foundation for a little over $20,000. Weyers said it was the last of a three-year grant that runs from September to August.

David Post brought his two daughters and one son. They were all making t-shirts by placing items or fabric paper on the cloth and then applying bleach to make the outline of the design stand out.

"It's just me and my kids having fun," Post said. "My wife goes out with her friends. She likes to see what we did. All week the kids are asking if we're coming back."

Perry said it's an open studio format so the participants are able to roam freely. Sometimes the kids will make crafts for their mother's birthday or a holiday, for example, so sometimes the groups plan what they'll do at the beginning of the session. Two to three project stations are typically set up to choose from.

The event is open to the public from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Vermont Arts Exchange, 48 Main St., North Bennington.

For more information contact Weyers at 802-442-1665 or

Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.


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