Family Fun Night – Year of the Rabbit

Michelle Boltz

The Mulvane Art Lab was hopping with luck as children and their families helped celebrate Chinese New Year. This year’s sign is the Rabbit, and participants got to make a plethora of art projects to mark this fun occasion.

One of the projects involved learning a series of painting strokes with watercolor. With slight angles and pressure from the wrist, animals could be made on pre-made scrolls. Some of the animals included rabbits, raccoons, bears, chipmunks, rats and deer in various poses.

Another project was a dragon head made out of egg cartons, construction paper and streamers. Some of the children enjoyed adding googly eyes and sequins. “Everything goes good with googly eyes,” said Kandis Barker, one of Art Lab’s directors. Art Lab Supervisor, Josh Davis, made a dragon head with flames on the sides, making it look like the dragon from Disney’s animated movie “Mulan.”

Chinese lanterns of many shapes and bright colors were hung throughout the Art Lab. Some looked like they had light inside by adding yellow and orange streamers to represent fire. Googly eyes were added to give some of the lanterns more personality.

In the Art Lab library is a resident’s scale model of President Farley’s home with items inside of the home. There is a list of 14 items that children can find in a scavenger hunt, and can learn about the history of the home itself. Some of the items were a tube of toothpaste, a snowman, and a silver tea kettle.

The Year of the Rabbit celebration kicked off one of four new exhibits that had their opening reception upstairs in the Mulvane Art Museum during the First Friday Art Walk. One of the guests, Roger Moore, from the Topeka Community Concert Association, also took part in making a Chinese lantern. He is one of many members of the association that bring local acts to the White Concert Hall for the community’s enjoyment.

The Afiara String Quartet had a performance Feb. 5. Afiara is a Spanish word for fiar, meaning “to trust.” The next concert from the Topeka Community Concert Association takes place on March 17, and features Daniel Narducci, a classic American Baritone.

April 26 features Jim Witter from the Piano Men, which also accents two of pop music’s musicians, Billy Joel and Elton John. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 a show, or can purchase a membership for their 80th season. With student ID, Washburn students can attend the concert series for free. For additional information, contact their website at, or call (785) 357-8702.