Cherry Blossom Time brings history, culture to children

ArtLab assistants designed templates for attendees to draw inspiration from. Children at the event were encourages to use different mediums of art such as painting, drawing and mosaic.

Jena Dean

The Mulvane ArtLab hosted Cherry Blossom Time on April 16 in celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. This event, which welcomed children of all ages to try their hand at painting cherry blossoms, represented a historical event that brought a sense of solidarity between the U.S. and Japan.

“In 1912, Japan sent 3,000 cherry blossom trees to D.C. as a peace-offering,” said Theresa Scott, ArtLab specialist. “So today we are celebrating it by using different mediums and allowing children and adults to create their own cherry blossom.”

Cherry Blossom Time has become an annual event for the ArtLab, drawing in parents and children of all ages from the Topeka community to Washburn’s campus. The event was a part of Family Days, which included multiple events throughout the spring.

“The ArtLab holds events to celebrate something that is not only an important event of peace for our country, but also to also educate children to realize art can come from a variety of sources, like historical events,” said Scott. “Art is for all ages and all people.”

Assistants at the ArtLab created templates for children to follow at the event, as well as instructed attendees on how to design the trees. Children chose from a variety of mediums such as painting, drawing and paper mache to create artwork.

“Cherry blossoms connect to something else, something larger in Washington, D.C.,” said Christian Sauerman, senior art major. “This is a way to give kids culture.”

Sauerman, ArtLab assistant, has worked at the Mulvane ArtLab for three years and has seen the impact such events contribute to culture in the community.

“The ArtLab teaches different ways of thinking about values and culture. There’s a lot of events that help with that, like Day of the Dead or the major art fair that’s held in June,” said Sauerman.

In addition to Cherry Blossom Time, the Mulvane ArtLab hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including I Heart Art held in February and A Carnival of Color held in March. Additionally, “Summer Razzle Dazzle Classes” are offered during the summer, including drawing classes, mosaic classes and mixed medium classes.

“We have a number of art classes that are for children, teenagers and adults that cost a fee,” said Scott. “But the ArtLab is always cost free and is open to the public.”

For more information on classes and events at the Mulvane ArtLab, visit or call (785) 670-2420.