Melissa Vorndran

Creating with the Masters

A creative activity book designed to bring arts education outside of the museum.

Art museums offer beautiful aesthetic experiences, knowledge, and a different sense of perspective while serving as cultural touch-points. And yet, they can also be considered inaccessible, even for those with an interest in art. This project began as an exploration into why that was, and how we could bring art outside the museum to reach that audience. The resulting activity book seeks to bring the educational and creative benefits of learning about art to wherever people are.


The initial conception of this project was an interactive event designed to get the audience thinking about art in a new way. However, with both museum attendance and events becoming impossible as a result of COVID-19, this project needed to adapt to the current needs of the audience. It was important to still incorporate the elements that were identified through probes and interviews as important to this audience- fun, educational, social, and free- to the adapted intervention.


The outcome of this project was Creating with the Masters, an art-based activity book that incorporates educational elements, artistic prompts, and coloring pages to encourage curiosity and learning about art history at home. The book is available as a free download on, and can be used digitally or printed. 

Parsons School of Design has offered students innovative approaches to education since its founding in 1896.  Today we’re the only American art and design school within a comprehensive university, The New School, which also houses a rigorous liberal arts college and a progressive performing arts school. Our undergraduate and graduate programs, offered through Parsons’ five schools, immerse students in focused training, interdisciplinary inquiry, and practice-based collaborative learning. Here creators and scholars master established art and design fields and advance emerging ones while studying a range of university disciplines.

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