Got an empty wall? Here are some tips for making a wall or a section of a wall a family history art boards to serve as a constant reminder of the ancestors who have given your family the fundamental characteristic and skills that make your current life possible.
There are a variety of things you can display as part of your family history art board. Use photos, your children’s art work, even shadow box items (objects from ancestor—articles they made or used—or objects that remind you of them—tools, knickknacks, gifts) or a combination of all of them. Use maps—old from the times when your ancestors used the roads, recent to compare roads—pictures of the areas where ancestors lived, pictures of people doing the things they did. Items can be organized on an enlarged pedigree chart, in a collage, in lines, squares, rectangles or not organized at all.
Before having children do art work, tell them about their ancestors. Give them an idea of things their ancestors might have done, things they liked, places they would have seen. Let the children decide how they want to portray the ancestor/s they are focused on.
Have the children dictate stories about the ancestor’s life to an adult to put with the picture or write the stories themselves if they are old enough. Help them see that their ancestor was a person with a personality who really lived and lives now.
To make your family history art board something that you will want to keep as part of your home, take time to make it nice. Help the children feel pride in the things they have contributed. Choosing a neutral background will help the actual pictures stand out. A frame can easily be made from inexpensive coving to give the area a more formal look. Mats (colored paper can work well for children’s art) and frames will make art look more official.
Use family home evenings to talk about specific ancestors then to make art pieces for the art board. Talk about the people on it often and update it when new information or names are added. Additions may be a reason to celebrate—especially if new names are ready to have their temple work done.