Author-Illustrator Bethany Barton visits Kennewick School District

Bethany Barton, known for writing several children’s books, as well as working on prop and set design on shows like 'Obi-Wan Kenobi,' 'Westworld' and 'The Muppets,' comes to KSD for art workshops.
Author Illustrator Bethany Barton Visits Kennewick School District

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Several acclaimed authors are visiting Kennewick Schools this week. Bethany Barton is an author-illustrator who has written several children’s books. She has also worked on prop and set design on shows like Obi-Wan, Westworld, The Muppets and more.

Bethany Barton took to a classroom at Mid-Columbia Partnerships Monday, doing an art workshop on 1980s graffiti art.

“Even really simple art, like line drawings like Keith Haring, like, messy things like Basquiat can be fine art. It can be elevated art, can talk about big important things,” said Barton. “You don’t have to make a painting that looks like the Mona Lisa for it to be an important piece of art.”

Barton did workshops throughout the day, and then presented at a school-wide assembly.

She’ll be at different Kennewick schools every day this week, along with authors-illustrators, David Biedrzycki and Kevin O’Malley. 

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Her books include, “I’m Trying to Love Spiders” and “Give Bees a Chance,” among others. These are children’s books that take a science-approach to explaining things.

“What I was really excited about was explaining the natural world and explaining STEM subjects,” said Barton. “That’s why I started making picture books about STEM subjects.”

Her prop and set decoration spans from, “The Muppets,” to “Obi-Wan,” and many more.

“I didn’t realize her background was doing a lot of props for some of the movies and TV shows. So, that was really fun to see,” said Carrie DeForest, Principal at Mid-Columbia Partnerships.

“My favorite kind of art and storytelling is for kids, because I think that kids are the most curious and don’t judge the story as much,” said Barton. “You can make really amazing stories for kids and take a lot of risks, where I feel like adults want it to be a certain way.”

“There’s no mistakes, right? In art, every art is up to the individual, and so just trying and exploring and making a mess and knowing that it’s okay,” said DeForest. “We’re just gonna go for it and art is art and every art piece is going to be different and it’s okay and we’re not going to erase, because it’s not a mistake.”