Tatiana Davis smiled as she cleaned graphite dust off her fingers.
“It’s fun,” Tatiana, 8, a Stevens Creek Elementary School pupil, said of the graphite rubbing technique she used to create artwork Sunday at Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.
Tatiana and her sister, Gisela, 9, did the rubbings and made prints of architectural details of the almost two-century-old building known as Ware’s Folly. Sunday’s family activity was part of a weekend of events marking the institute’s 75th anniversary, according to Rebekah Henry Murphy, executive director.
On Friday, there was a reception to invite back many of the artists, teachers and students who’d come through the institute’s doors over the years.
“There are many generations of families who’ve come through these doors and learned about art,” said Murphy.
An historical timeline was set up in one of the galleries. It began with a photograph of the home in dire straits in 1937 when Olivia Herbert purchased it and saved it from becoming the site of a gas station.
Herbert donated the building to the Augusta Art Club, and it was named in memory of Herbert’s daughter, Gertrude Herbert Dunn, who had recently died.
Seventy-five years later, in addition to being a gallery for contemporary artists, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art offers classes at the adjacent Walker-Mackenzie studio and offers outreach programs in 17 area elementary schools.
Sunday’s events gave children a taste of some art they might not have available in their classrooms.
Gisela said she’d never made the ink prints or done the graphite rubbings before.
“We draw and do stuff with clay,” she said of art classes at school.
The girls’ father, Chris, brought them to Sunday’s family day because of an art class he had seen listed on the organization’s Web site.
“The welding class caught my eye,” he said as he thumbed through a guide to see what other classes were available for his sons, John, 15, and Dave, 13.