Making Art – Not Just Looking at It
I’ve researched the top 10 art museums for kids as well as the Baltimore Museum of Art. None of them are creating the environment we experienced at two galleries in Copenhagen. While USA’s museums have scavenger hunts and books and games to suggest related to the art, I found the activities created in Copenhagen to be inspired. In an art museum, what better way to create curiosity about art than to enable kids to make their own art?
The National Gallery in Copenhagen attracted me by highlighting it’s children’s drawing room. Sarah was immediately intrigued and wanted to go. While there wasn’t much for Catherine to do, sometimes a sister simply has to go along. Sarah loved it so much we went back another day and she drew some more. I loved reading what the museum had to say about drawing.
Sarah chose a statue of a little girl carrying kittens to draw. Brian and Catherine went off to explore. I simply watched, captivated, as i watched my 7-year-old daughter hone her sense of observation.
They also had a children’s area where kids could make sculpture with hot glue guns, paint at an easel, or draw some more. Sarah worked hard on her painting of an airplane and her sculpture of a tree house that had a rope swing and a zip line.
In fact, she felt like she’d worked so hard on them, we had to figure out a way to get them back home with us. Fortunately, a mailing tube at the train station was perfect!
At Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, we found an entire Children’s wing. They approached the kids art program a little differently, which I really liked. Instead of just providing materials and hoping to spark creativity, they tied projects into the exhibits in the museum, so the kids would hopefully understand and appreciate the exhibits more. Making things out of sticks and paper like they do in structures in Africa, gave Sarah a greater interest in the Africa exhibit. And Catherine preferred the 3D opportunities in this museum as well.
And the final example of making art was watching Catherine compose music with the camera from this computer. When it “saw” her move, it played music and she responded and seemed to know what she was doing immediately. Art comes in many forms and is one of the best ways to reach people with disabilities in my opinion.