The Educator’s Lair: What’s in a name?

Have you ever wondered why we named our blog The Educator’s Lair? Hopefully, the educator part is self-explanatory but why lair? Seems a strange word to describe an educational space…

If you’ve visited the museum you probably remember a ceramic dragon on a pedestal near the entrance.

That’s The Wiregrass Dragon, who we have named Irwin after her creator, Kevin Irwin. Kevin is based in Birmingham, Alabama and works in many mediums such as flame-worked glass, ceramics, jewelry design and construction, pen and ink, and watercolor painting. She is inspired by her love of nature and historic architecture. When asked about her work, she had this to say:

“If I had to define how my Art affects my life, I would say that it leads me to beauty, joy, and laughter, which I want to share with others. And it is the language I speak best. If my work inspires you to this, then we are on a journey together. That not only gives me great joy, but it makes it all worth it.”

The Wiregrass Dragon is part of our education collection, which consists of works that the education department can use in instruction during tours, camps, and classes. We have around 100 pieces in the collection that contains work from all over the world. This collection helps to fulfill the museum’s mission of Excellence in Education by providing “direct interactions with visual art. “You can learn more about Kevin Irwin and The Wiregrass Dragon during our Brunch and Learn this Thursday on our Facebook Page but let’s circle back to our name: The Educator’s Lair. Irwin the dragon has grown into the mascot for the education department, so we have unofficially named the studio/classroom at the museum, the lair. So, when you sit down and read our blog, we’re inviting you into our classroom/lair. Irwin even guards the door to the classroom and if you look over to the right when you walk in , you might spy Irwin in Bob Ross cosplay letting students know that “Mistakes are okay as long as you are learning.” Infact, you’ll see Irwin the dragon everywhere in the classroom, if you keep an eye out for her! Irwin doesn’t hoard gold in her lair, but it is filled with inspiration, imagination, and FUN! However, Irwin never hoards any of those things; she is happy to share with all who enter.

Irwin’s lair might not be your typical dragon’s lair, but it is our home at the museum. So, if you could design a dragon’s lair, what would it look like? What would your dragon friend “hoard?” Take an art break with us today and design your own dragon’s lair! Be sure to share and tag us in your creations on social media!


“Kevin Irwin.” Kentuck, Kentuck Art Center,

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

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Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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