Claude Monet and his impressionistic waterlilies will be the focus of the May 7 workshop.

BELMAR, NJ — Youngsters are getting their first brush with some of the world’s most influential artists during a new livestream program offered by the Belmar Public Library.

The library has partnered with its longtime art instructor Dawn Lisko to offer the Youth Art Appreciation Program — a series of virtual offerings that combine an art history lesson with a live-instruction art session focusing on a specific artist. As part of this inaugural initiative, students in kindergarten through sixth grade are learning about Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Keith Haring.

Known for her in-person youth art workshops at the library, Lisko has been eager to get creative — and connected, even remotely — with young aspiring artists once again.

“With everything abruptly stopping last year, I feel there’s a real loss of opportunity for these young kids to have additional activities,” said Lisko, a Belmar resident who is an art teacher at Red Bank Regional High School.

“The next few months (the program) will be done virtually — in hopes that our summer session can return in person, perhaps outside under a tent,” she said.

For the current program, Lisko said she chose artists and projects that would be good for a wide range of ages, regardless of skills ability level. For example, the program’s first session on March 19 focused on Matisse, with students creating a paper collage illustrating how his style evolved from paintings with shapes and patterns to paper cut-outs and stain-glass windows.

“We had a small group, but they were all super engaged and made wonderful outcomes,” Lisko said.

Watch the video below:


While materials will be varied and most easily accessible, students will also be offered a bag of free art supplies — available for pickup at the library several days before each live session.

And for youngsters who cannot join a session live, a recording of the program will be available afterward on the library’s YouTube channel. 

Here’s a rundown of the remaining Friday afternoon offerings, which begin at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Click here for information on each project, which also are detailed below.  

May 7: Claude Monet – Impressionistic Waterlilies


The session will explore Monet’s series of paintings from his time in Giverny, France, where he depicted waterlilies at different times of day and through different seasons. Discussion will focus on how his colors change through overlapping of colors and soft brushstrokes to give an impression of the water and lilies.

Click here to register.



June 4: Keith Haring – Graffiti Art


Haring is known for his simplified graffiti style forms, including his use of outlines and symbols. Participants will examine how his style combined fine art and a street style referred to as graffiti.

Click here to register.



While no prior art experience is necessary, parental supervision is recommended. For more information, call the library at 732-681-0775 or email


Belmar Public Library: Growing Beyond the Book Shelves

The Youth Art Appreciation Workshop is the latest offering by the Belmar Public Library to be added to its growing roster of alternatives to in-person resources, as the library building remains closed due to the coronavirus. Here’s a rundown:

E-Street curbside pickup service allows library patrons to pick up their selections or have documents copied, faxed or printed in a contactless way.

The 24/7 Virtual Library continues to expand its digital offerings, available ’round-the-clock for easy access. There’s Flipster for magazines, Hoopla for movies, comic books and TV shows, for classical music, Rosetta Stone to learn a language, and so much more.

“Storytime with Miss Peggy,” a continuing video series that features storyteller Peggy O’Connor with library aide David Cupoli and Winston, the library's canine assistant, making regular co-host appearances. 

Participation in New Jersey’s Inter-Library Loan Program offers access to the collective resources of hundreds of libraries throughout New Jersey, including an extensive research and reference database.

A wide array of services and materials for individuals with visual and print impairments are available at no cost through a partnership with the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center and National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress.

AuthorTime is a livestream series that features a local author who offers an informal, yet informative presentation about their work. In addition to being interviewed, the author also takes questions from online attendees. All webinars are posted on the library’s website and YouTube channel.

For more information on any of these programs and services, including how to get a Belmar Public Library card, visit its website by clicking here, email or call 732-681-0775.


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