The National Gallery of Art here in DC has these marvelous classes -- yep you guessed it-- FOR FREE that introduce little ones (and big ones who were too tuned out earlier in life to appreciate art) to the world of modern and classical art.
(The amazing work of Chuck Close. I love how all of the kids are unknowingly striking a different pose while looking & listening.)
Each class has a theme, and last week was shape and color in the east wing which holds modern works of art. We were worried that the sweet, elderly docent charged with making these paintings and sculptures come alive for a spirited group of 6-8 year olds might, well, get eaten alive by our kids. But she held court like a rock star.
Byron Kim is a grid of 400 small panels that each recreate the skin color of a friend.)
Zach was hooked from hello when she had the children gather around an Andy Goldsworthy piece and talked about the architecture of the building ("Hey mom, the gold guy from that movie we saw! He made this!" - referring to Rivers & Tides).
(exploring the works of Alexander Calder...)
(... then she gave the kids colored wires and encouraged them to make their own Calder-esque works.)
(Making mini Matisse creations whilst in the shadows of the real thing.)
(This was my feeling when my mom used to take me to art museums. Now that I know how to do it, I'll make sure she wakes up to the beauty of it all when the time is right.)
some cool kid activities. And once again, thank you American taxpayer. And thank you mom. Now I get it.