Community Programs

Discover a variety of programs for all ages and interests, from active and fun to quiet and contemplative.

Adult Classes and Workshops

Workshops and classes at the Palmer connect with artworks on view and provide focused time for adults to expand or learn new creative skills in a casual and fun environment.

Adult Workshop: Sneaker Painting

Saturday, July 13 | 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Fee: $35 

Bring your own clean canvas sneakers and let art inspire your design! Take a brief journey through the galleries to gather creative ideas, then get painting in the Palmer’s studio classroom. Instructor and educator Brandi Breslin will provide gentle guidance, paint, brushes, and other supplies to help you create one-of-a-kind shoe masterpieces. Open to participants age 15 and older for a fee of $35. Participants 15-17 must be accompanied by a participating parent/guardian.

Advance registration is required. Check back for registration information soon.

Sneaker painting

Introduction to Plein Air Painting

Six Saturdays: July 20 – August 24  ​| 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Fee: $350 ($300 for students and Arboretum/Palmer volunteers)​​

Explore the enchanting realm of plein air (outdoor) painting, led by local artist Sydney Turner. This six-week course at the picturesque Arboretum at Penn State and the Palmer Museum of Art offers a comprehensive journey into the art of landscape painting. From mastering the basics of sketching and gathering photo references to experimenting with watercolor, gouache, and ink, participants will delve into the diverse techniques of open-air artistic expression. As part of this class, students will also enjoy private study sessions of a selection of the museum’s watercolor and gouache landscapes to inspire and admire! Whether you’re a novice or an art enthusiast, this class is designed to cater to anyone new to the world of plein air painting, requiring no prior art experience. All supplies needed during classes are provided with registration; a supply list will be provided for those interested in acquiring at-home supplies. Join us for an immersive experience!

Register at the link below. Firefox, Safari, or Edge recommended for link.

Plein Air Painting Registration
Plein Air painting

Programs

Community Days 

Enjoy a variety of activities connected to a special exhibition or theme. From gallery talks, tours, and art-making, to music, dance, and games, there is something for everyone. Upcoming Community Day programs:

Palmer Opening Celebration

Saturday, June 1, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 2, noon–5:00 p.m.

Community Day

Drop-in Workshops

Try out art-making techniques related to collections and works on view. 

Time to Weave

Thursday, June 20, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Fee: Free, drop-in

Enjoy hands-on discovery of the weaving process, inspired by textiles on display in the African art collection. Textile artist, Marie Huard, will provide a demonstration of loom weaving. Instructions and supplies will be provided to create a small project on a handheld loom; projects may be completed at home. 

Weaving workshop

Quiet Hours


With a busy tour and program schedule serving a diverse community, the Palmer Museum is not necessarily a quiet place. If you’re interested in a peaceful experience, plan to visit during Quiet Hours, when there will be no programs or tours scheduled. 

Upcoming Quiet Hours:

  • June 12 | 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
  • June 28 | 2:00–5:00 p.m.​
  • July 7 | 2:00–5:00 p.m.​
  • July 19 | 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.​
  • August 21 | 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Talks & Discussions


Take a deeper dive into the collection or a special exhibition with talks by museum staff, faculty, or other knowledgeable speakers.

Check listings below on the Learn & Teach page.

Learn & Teach

Family Guides & Self-Guided Tours


Interested in exploring the galleries but feel a little intimidated by art? We’ve got you! Printed family guides and self-guided tours are available at the museum welcome desk. Large print text of gallery labels are also available. Inquire at the welcome desk.


Wellness Programs

Take time for yourself and enjoy creative expression and mindfulness in an artful environment.

Creative Self-Care Studio Sessions


Get creative, connect with others, move your hands, learn about self-care art techniques, and take time to relax and rejuvenate through art-making processes. Hosted by Erin E. Carter, EdD, ATR-BC,  Assistant Teaching Professor of Creative Arts Therapies, these sessions will focus on therapeutic art practices for self-care as well as provide a time and place to build community with other creative people. Free, drop-in, no registration required.

Upcoming Creative Studio Sessions: 

  • Thursday, June 27 | 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 22 | 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 5 | 5:30–7:30 p.m. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 17 | 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 7 | 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 5 | 5:30–7:30 p.m.


Yoga in the Galleries


Exercise your body and mind in a beautiful, artful environment. All bodies are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Offered in collaboration with Student Affairs, Health Promotion and Wellness.

Summer Yoga at the Palmer

Thursdays, June 27-August 8 | 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (no class July 4)​​

Instructor: Latisha Franklin

Free. Space is limited, so registration is recommended below.


Summer Yoga Registration

Art & Mindfulness


Prioritize your health and mental wellness by taking a break from the pressures of everyday. Participate in guided mindfulness, meditation, and slow-looking activities in the galleries.

Upcoming Art & Mindfulness programs:

Introductory Talk and Practice

Tuesday, July 30 | 1:00–2:30 p.m.

Dr. Blake Colaiane, College of Health and Human Development



Volunteer Program

Palmer Ambassadors

Palmer Ambassadors are volunteers dedicated to welcoming visitors and supporting the museum’s mission through a variety of programs and projects. Ambassadors enjoy exhibition previews and social gatherings with museum staff and fellow volunteers in addition to greeting and assisting visitors.

Volunteers complete an onboarding session, attend ongoing monthly meetings, and establish regular shifts to fit their schedule and museum needs. More information and guidelines to apply are available at the link below.

Check back in August for more information about the schedule for onboarding opportunities.

For questions about the Palmer Ambassador program, contact our Visitor Services team at PalmerVisitorServices@psu.edu

Volunteer Application
Volunteers

Drop-in Tours

Deepen your engagement with the Palmer’s collections and exhibitions with a guided tour.

Regularly scheduled tours are available free-of-charge for individuals or small groups (up to 8 people) to drop-in, no reservation needed. These participatory tours explore highlights of the collection and special exhibitions through a unifying theme and encourage visitors to connect with artworks and share ideas with fellow visitors. 

Enjoy Meet the Museum tours this summer to get to know the new Palmer Museum of Art.​​

  • Thursday, June 27 | 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29 | 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30 | 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 18 | 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 21 | 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 4 | 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 15 | 6:00 p.m.
Guided tour

Outreach

Connect with us out and around the local community at festivals and event and enjoy a family-friendly activity inspired by art in the permanent collection.​ Find us at State College Pride, Arts Fest, LION Bash, WPSU Event-a-palooza, Pumpkin Fest . . . and many more!

Upcoming outreach programs:

Art in the Garden: Sun Prints at the Arboretum

Wednesday, July 31 | 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Join Palmer educator, Brandi Breslin, in the Children’s Garden at the Arboretum to play with printmaking in the sun. Discover image-making with photosensitive materials, and “develop” your knowledge of cyanotypes, an early method for making photographs without a camera.

Arts Fest: Children & Youth Day

Wednesday, July 10 | 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Create thumbprint self-portraits as part of a collaborative community project related to the special exhibition MADE IN PA.

Outreach