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Free First Sunday: The Artist’s Process

Free / Family / Music / Social / Performance

Sunday, December 3, 10am – 5pm

Receiving the Winds of Africanus by Shawn Theodore, a Philadelphia artist whose work will be part of today's public critique.

Free. Tickets are limited and available on-site starting at 9:45am.

About the Event

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means free admission at the Barnes! Visitors have access to the collection, our special exhibition Kiefer Rodin, and all our family activities and performances. 

Today's program is all about artists and how they do what they do. Join us for a deep dive with creators as they share their work and their process for producing unforgettable songs, stories, and images.


What's Happening Today

10 – 10:45am (​9:45am sign-up/check-in) Stroller Tour

Join us for our first stroller tour. Embark on a guided journey to visit select works of art in our collection galleries and land in our gallery classroom for storytime!

Tour capacity: 10 strollers. (Because some of our galleries are small, we can accommodate single and tandem strollers on this tour but not side-by-side strollers.)

10am – noon Book Reading and Signing by Bryan Collier and Mo Willems

Children’s book authors and illustrators Bryan Collier and Mo Willems share their new partnership—It’s Shoe Time!—as well as a few other favorites. The authors will do a reading and show aspiring artists how to sketch some of their characters.


Bryan Collier

An author and illustrator, Collier has won multiple awards for his illustrations, including the Coretta Scott King Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for his book Uptown. He is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient.

Mo Willems

Willems, a best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded Caldecott Honors on three occasions, for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His celebrated Elephant & Piggie series has won two Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals and five Geisel Honors.

10:30am – 2:30pm Open Studio, art making

Be inspired by our collection’s figurative work, and come to our salon to sketch and draw from life with live models and stationary backdrops. (Stationary still life will remain until 4pm.) All ages and skill levels.

10:30am – 3:30pm Pop-Up Stations, art making

Kids! Join Moore College of Art and Design students to design creatures, wearable art, and paper snowflakes. Make playful works of art out of fabric, foam, string, baubles, beads, and more to take home and share.


11am – 4pm ArtSee, Visual Art Exercises, art making

Experiment with hues, tints, tones, and shade using pencils, colored pencils, paint chips, and watercolors. Learn about the artistic process and the endless fun of color mixing and color art games! All ages.

Noon – 4pm Group Project: Winter Landscape, art making

Add to a progressive paper ribbon and tape art project to create a 3-D winter landscape even the Grinch would find magical and fun! All ages.

12:30 – 1:30pm Donovan Moore, music

Singer-songwriter Moore returns to the Barnes to perform new songs created during a writer’s residency in Italy. An alumni of the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale, Moore began playing guitar at the age of 12 and now, at 19, has written over 100 songs.


1pm – 4pm Lending a Creative Hand, art making

Help make colorful cards and warm messages to send to veterans and senior centers this holiday season. All ages. 

1 – 5pm Monument Lab Open House, conversation

What is an appropriate monument for today’s Philadelphia? That's the question posed by Monument Lab, a public art and history project produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia. The community has weighed in, and now Monument Lab’s team is ready to share early research highlights and talk about the project’s next steps. 

(at the Monument Lab research field office, next to 20th Street)

2 – 4pm Public Art Critique: Process, conversation

What is the process that artists have to undertake to get their work exhibited to the public? Join artists Haile Binns and Shawn Theodore as they present their work and participate in a public art critique by regional curators, artists, and scholars. In partnership with Art Sanctuary and Rush Arts Philly.

(in the Comcast Auditorium on the lower level)

Haile Binns

Binns is a Jamaican-American artist whose wooden canvases merge natural and industrial materials. She calls her works sculptural paintings—a reference to the meditative process by which she adds layers to build texture.

Shawn Theodore

Theodore is a Philadelphia-based artist working in photography, video, and collage. His practice explores concepts of race, spirituality, patriarchy, matriarchy, and class structure within disappearing black communities.

Get Tickets

Free tickets for First Sunday are available on-site at 9:45am, include collection access, and are limited to four tickets per person. The tickets that allow collection access go fast, but you can still access all our family activities and performances. Just drop by at any time during the day, and we'll give you a special program ticket.


Free First Sundays are generously sponsored by: