When you were a kid, your mom was probably just being kind by saying your homemade cards were the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. Even so, a handmade gift can still make someone feel appreciated. This year's Columbus Arts Festival will offer plenty of chances to make some take-home art, help a worthy cause or just relax with the right side of your brain. Activities are ongoing throughout the weekend. So tap into your inner child and make Mom proud.

When you were a kid, your mom was probably just being kind by saying your homemade cards were the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. Even so, a handmade gift can still make someone feel appreciated. This year's Columbus Arts Festival will offer plenty of chances to make some take-home art, help a worthy cause or just relax with the right side of your brain. Activities are ongoing throughout the weekend. So tap into your inner child and make Mom proud.

Community Art Project

Each year the Greater Columbus Arts Council chooses an organization to receive a work of art created by festival patrons. This year, festivalgoers will create a mural for Amethyst Inc., a nonprofit group that helps women recover from drug and alcohol dependency.

The mural will go into Amethyst's new apartment facility for women in recovery. Contributors will decorate individual tiles, and the end result will be a collage of tiles spelling out "hope" to inspire residents.

Flickr Photo Contest

Do you fancy yourself the Lee Friedlander of point-and-shoot? Would you rather spend a day in a darkroom than at the beach?

Here's your chance to show off your skills - the first Columbus Arts Festival Photo Contest. Shutterbugs are challenged to submit the photo that best captures the spirit of the festival. Winners receive festival merchandise, gift certificates and a chance to havetheir photo used in future promotions.

Photographs can be from any festival year, including 2009. Contestants need to join the Columbus Arts Festival's Flickr group at Flickr.com and submit their entries by Saturday, June 6. Three winners, chosen by a panel of jurors, will be announced Sunday afternoon.

Best of the Rest

If that isn't enough to keep you busy, here's a rundown of other hands-on activities this weekend for both kids and adults.

Find your inner Napoleon (Dynamite, that is) with the Columbus College of Art & Design's project to create animal hybrids. Can you do better than a sweet liger?

In conjunction with its new Lost Egypt exhibit, COSI will explore the art of ancient Egypt and help you create a tomb frieze to take home.

Even if you're not a fan of Jackson Pollock's paintings, you have to admit they sure look like fun to make. Learn Pollock's splatter painting technique with the Horizon Science Academy Elementary.

Other highlights include a crash course in storytelling by the Storytellers of Central Ohio and a class in warm glass molding from the artists at Glass Axis.

All hands-on art activities take place in the parking lot of the Columbus Museum of Art from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a full list, click to GCAC.org.