At-Home Art Projects

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The Cultural Arts staff believes that the arts are an essential part of our daily lives. Our Arts Instructors have created art projects and activities that anyone can do from home with a few basic materials and a creative spirit. Below are some instructions for projects and activities that you can view online and participate in.

The City of Carlsbad would love to see your artwork! Please send photos of your completed art projects to

Black History Month 

February 2022

The Cultural Arts Office has created three art lessons inspired by three contemporary Black artists: Bisa Butler, Kambel Smith and Duke Windsor. Each lesson has short biographies about each artist, an art lesson and a poetry activity that can be completed at home with simple materials. Below, there is also a list of library resources provided by the Reference Librarians from the city of Carlsbad libraries. We hope you enjoy researching and learning about these talented artists as much as we enjoyed creating these art activities inspired by their artworks.

Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler 

Bisa Butler in front of Dahomey Amazon, 2020
Photo: John Butler, courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery

Born: 1973, Orange, New Jersey
Art Style: Contemporary Fiber Artist
Art Lesson

Short Biography: Bisa Butler was born in Orange, New Jersey in 1975. She is the daughter of a college president and a French teacher and is the youngest of four siblings. At the young age of four, Butler won a blue ribbon in the Plainfield Sidewalk art competition, and she realized her artistic talent.  

Butler is a formally trained artist, she attended Howard University where she refined her natural artistic skills and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. During the course of attaining her Master’s Degree to become an art teacher, Butler had a realization of how to express her art when she took a Fiber Art class. She states, “As a child, I was always watching my mother and grandmother sew, and they taught me.” Butler’s quilting process began when she made a special quilt for her ailing grandmother inspired from a vintage photograph of her grandparents on their wedding day.

Butler creates quilts, a process immersed in tradition within the African American community. She is best known for her colorful, quilted portraits that celebrate Black life. Her intricate quilts picture both prominent historical figures and people from everyday walks of life. Butler’s works of art can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Art Institute of Chicago, and many other art museums across the United States.

Kambel Smith

Kambel Smith 

Kambel Smith and his iconic sculptures.
Photo by: ARTnews

Born: December 4, 1986, Altus, Oklahoma
Art Movement: Contemporary
Art Lesson

Short Biography: Philadelphia-based artist Kambel Smith is known for creating large-scale architectural models using found cardboard, foamcore, gouache, oil paint, charcoal, and tape.  Smith creates his pieces by hand, without scaled measurements, and without any sketches.  Of his process Smith says, “I’m just trying to make it look like real life.”

Based on pictures that he sources from the internet, much of his work captures Philadelphia’s historical buildings and iconic structures that include the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Betsy Ross House, City Hall, Divine Lorraine Hotel, Guild House, Independence Hall, Lincoln Financial Field, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and PSFS Building. In addition, Smith has re-created buildings and structures outside of the city like the Flatiron Building (NY), Georgia State Capitol, Manhattan Bridge, Tbilisi Bridge, Westin Hotel Atlanta, and the White House.

When asked what buildings he'd like to render next, Kambel has said, "All of them." For Kambel, the making is what matters the most.

Kambel Smith has had solo exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Elaine de Kooning House in New York, and the 2019 Outsider Art Fair in New York. He has been included in group exhibitions in Marlborough, London and the Brooklyn Print & Photo Fair in the presentation One Day You’ll See: A History of Afrofuturism. A recent exhibit was, Monumental Models from March 7, 2020 to March 25, 2021, at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Smith's work is included in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and the West Collection in Philadelphia.

Duke Windsor

Duke Windsor 

Duke Windsor
Photo from: Sparks Gallery

Born: 1960, Texarkana, Texas
Art Style: Modern - Gilded Urbanscapes
Art Lesson

Short Biography: San Diego artist Duke Windsor was born in Texarkana, Texas, and lives a life full of adventure and variety. He’s been, among other things, a drill instructor in the U.S. Marine Corps, a rodeo cowboy, an opera singer, a guitar player, an exhibit director, the list goes on! 

Windsor is also an award-winning artist whose paintings have been exhibited in San Diego and all over the United States. His artwork is held in private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. Several of his incredible artworks have been on exhibit at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery here in Carlsbad! 

Duke Windsor works in many different art mediums: painting, gilding, pastel, block print, and sculpture. Windsor's art studio is located at his Mt.Helix, California home, and he shares his knowledge and love of art throughout the San Diego community. He works with various organizations teaching a wide variety of specialized art processes, including gold-leaf technique. As Duke says, “As artists it’s our job to pass on knowledge to others. It’s this way that art is perpetuated.”

Ekphrastic Poem

Create a poem inspired by a work of art! Choose an artist from above or below, then read and complete the attached lesson.

What is an ekphrastic poem?

Ekphrastic poems are written about art, they are art about art. The word “ekphrastic” derives from the Greek word for description. A person writing an ekphrastic poem explores and engages with a work of art. They then give words to the feelings and thoughts inspired by the work of art.

Black History Month art projects 2021

In collaboration with the Carlsbad City Library system, the Cultural Arts Office's Arts Education team has created art lessons inspired by six Black artists who contributed greatly to the arts during different eras throughout history laid out in the library's newly added database: ProQuest: Black Freedom Struggle in the United States. Each lesson has short biographies about each artist, an art lesson that can be completed at home with simple materials, and a list of library sources provided by the Reference Librarians from the city of Carlsbad libraries. We hope you enjoy researching and learning about these talented and influential artists as much as we enjoyed creating these art activities inspired by their artworks.

Robert S DuncansonBorn: 1821, Seneca County, NY 
Died: December 21, 1872, Detroit, MI  
Art Movement: The Hudson River School, The Ohio River Valley Style
Historical Era (ProQuest Database)Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860) 


Horace PippinBorn: February 22, 1888, West Chester, PA 
Died: July 6, 1946, West Chester, PA
Art Movement: Harlem Renaissance  
Historical Era (ProQuest Database): The New Deal and World War II: 1933-1945



Public art coloring pages

Public Art Coloring PagesTwo of our very talented Arts Instructors: Lisa Naugler and Tey Lin created some original works of art based on the City of Carlsbad’s public art collection. Download, print them and animate them with the colors of your choice! Addresses are provided for those interested in checking out Carlsbad's public art in person.

Visual art projects

Check out some simple visual arts projects that you can do from home.

Turtle and Flower Fields

Female artist lessons 

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. In celebration of this anniversary, the Arts Education team has created At-Home Art Projects inspired by contemporary female artists from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Have fun learning a little about each female artist and enjoy creating a hands-on art project inspired by the artist's work with materials found in your home. Art project lessons are for all ages!

For more information about each artist, check out the links to online sources listed on the last page of each art lesson.

Allison AdamsCurrently based in San Clemente, CA 
Art Movement: Contemporary 
Art Lesson

Short Biography: Allison Adams is a painter who trained at the California Institute of the Arts  (BFA 1995) to be an actress, but was torn because she also wanted to study painting. Adams was interested in studying and portraying characters: whether as an acting role or through a portrait. Allison Adams’ famous series of paintings, Groundbreaking Girls started in 2016 as she began a search for inspiration after the death of her husband. In the two years since artist Allison Adams started her art project, Groundbreaking Girls, she has painted portraits of over 200 influential women from history.



Hannah HochBorn: Nov. 1, 1889, Gotha, Germany 
Died: May 31, 1978, Berlin, Germany 
Art Movement: Dada 
Art Lesson

Short Biography: In 1918, Hannah Höch was associated with the Berlin Dada group, an international avant-garde movement reacting to WW1 that blatantly rejected traditional art forms. Höch drew inspiration from the collage work of Pablo Picasso and fellow Dada advocate Kurt Schwitters, and her compositions share similar dynamic and layered styles as these artists. Höch is considered to be an innovator of photomontage by embracing the photograph as the dominant medium in her collage artwork.


Julie MehretuBorn: 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
Art Movement: Contemporary 
Art Lesson

Short Biography: Julie Mehretu was born in 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to an American mother and Ethiopian father. In 1977 she immigrated with her family to Michigan. She studied at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal, and received a BA in art from Kalamazoo College, Michigan, before earning an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Julie Mehretu creates mesmerizing, large-scale paintings, drawings, and prints featuring nonrepresentational forms layered with familiar architectural imagery. Mehretu’s paintings and drawings refer to elements of mapping and architecture, achieving a calligraphic complexity that resembles turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. Her works engage the history of nonobjective art—from Constructivism to Futurism—posing contemporary questions about the relationship between utopian impulses and abstraction.