learning how to carve

Learn & Do

carving tools

We hope you will join us to get creative! On this page, you will find a wealth of online art lessons, activities and resources -  all created by local artists for you to explore. From crazy collage projects to inspiring bird flags to creating mythological birds, there is a ton of fun to be had here! 

This summer, we will also be offering small, socially-distanced classes outdoors at the Gilley under our new Art Tent. Beginning in with carving classes in June and then many different art classes in July and August. Check our events page for our in-person classes.  

If you need inspiring art materials, please just ask. We have a contact-free drop box at the museum for pick-up, or can mail art supplies to you to get you started. Write to us at  director@wendellgilleymuseum.org.

Learn & Do

For a complete list of all upcoming events: Events page

Crazy Creative Collage

June 1 - December 31, 2020

Local artists present crazy and creative collage projects to get you inspired. Each project is very different, and as you'll see, collage is a super fun art form that you can do with scissors, glue, and anything you can glue down. The results can be beautiful and sometimes surprising and can send a positive message. If you need art supplies and collage materials, email us at director@wendellgilleymuseum.org, and we'll get them to you. 

Ashley Bryan reads Beautiful Blackbird! ONLINE

May 4 - December 31, 2020

Watch this wonderful Video of Ashley Bryan reading his book Beautiful Blackbird and Visit Crazy, Creative Collage here on our website for a video lesson with artists Erika and Sienna Rosso, inspired by Beautiful Blackbirds - and lots of other fun collage ideas by local artists. 


May 2 - December 31, 2020

Explore the Collatype printmaking process with Artist Allison Maurais by watching her video here. This process uses simple materials such as cardboard to create shapes and textures that can be colored over to produce cool looking prints. Experiment with materials around your house and with different colors to create your own unique species!

Clay Birds

May 1 - December 30, 2020

Create fun clay birds with artist Allison Maurais. Click here to watch her video and get creative!

Fly your Bird Flags!

April 30 - December 31, 2020

Create an inspiring and beautiful bird flag that you can hang at your house - or bring to the Gilley Museum and we will proudly display it for all to see! Based on the idea of a "prayer flag" that embodies good thoughts and intentions, these flags are a positive and fun art project. Click "Expand" to read more and to join artist Allison Maurais for this online video project. 

Birds of Myth

April 28 - December 31, 2020

Join artists Erica and Sienna Rosso to create flying mythological birds, such as the Thunderbird, Phoenix and Quetzalcoatl. Click here to find templates for all three of these glorious birds - and download, print, and color them. Then join Erica and Sienna to learn how to make cool hanging bird goddess art by watching their video here.

Philosophy of programming

Following in the footsteps of Wendell Gilley, we endeavor to help people make connections to art and nature, and to their own creativity. We offer many opportunities for learning and creativity for all ages.

Many people reflect fondly on memories of dropping by and spending time with Wendell in his studio, watching him carve and learning from him. At the museum, you can visit with our Master Carver Steven Valleau (read his bio here), who has been carving at the Gilley for 35 years, as of June 1, 2020! You can share Steve's passion for birds and learn about carving (maybe even try your hand at it), and sign up for one of our many creative classes or learning programs. 

Along with a full-time artist on staff, we also bring in local artists, educators, and experts in natural history and the environment for special programs. Our events page lists all of our upcoming activities. If you are interested in learning to carve, you can sign up for a lesson or a lifetime; short and long workshops and a carving club are offered. Teachers and youth group leaders are welcome to schedule art and natural history programs year-round.

Types of activities offered


Watch Steve, or one of our Member carvers at work or enroll in a workshop yourself.

Special programs

Throughout the year, the Museum staff works with schools and other institutions to create customized tours and workshops.

Groups info

School groups

We welome school groups.

Private functions

The Gilley Workshop Wing is offered as a meeting place for non-profit groups for a basic fee of $75.00. The space includes a kitchen, work-style tables, chairs, and an A/V system with a large television and microphone for presentations. Rates for private and business functions and/or use of other galleries are negotiable.


If your group is unable to visit the Museum, outreach programs can sometimes be arranged. Current mileage rate of .50/mile applies. Program rates vary.

The Museum is open to groups by appointment, year-round. For more information, or to schedule a tour or program, please call us at (207) 244-7555 or email info@wendellgilleymuseum.org.

wooden bird carvings