Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Place For Young Artists

This past week we had an opportunity to visit the recently opened (as of October 1st) new home of The Children's Museum of the Arts.

And oh, what a merry string of adventures awaited us!

The inventive design includes a clay bar (it literally looks like a bar you might visit at Happy Hour but instead of sipping cocktails you'd be creating something scrumptious with your hands!), a Star Trekian-esque quiet room, a sound booth and media lab, several well-stocked, child-friendly art studios, a ball pond to frolic while inspiration and artistic ideas grow, art labs and a large, inviting gallery.

We loved it!

Our visit began with an examination of an architectural model created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The children were invited to share their observations of this building ("it looks like a palace", "is it a castle?", "it's a tree house", "there is a shiny, gold top!") and introduced to Hunderwasser's belief that our homes should have a connection with the environment while being fun, interesting places to live.

This attitude was carried over into the planning stages as our students gathered around a large sheet of white paper to draw their vision of a building based on what they learned from this artist.

Their plans included a rooftop playground built on a curved apartment house with tunnels to bring you to an ice cream room, buildings that were connected by a large ladder that also had trees growing off the sides, curvy spectacular structures with large, wavy windows and the Twin Towers with flowers and a man walking on a tight rope between the buildings saying "yay".

By the time they entered the art studio they were well prepared to erect their constructions using Styrofoam, pipe cleaners, tape, wire, cardboard, Popsicle sticks and aluminum foil.

It was wonderful to realize, once again, how blessed we are to have such opportunities at our fingertips. Going to public school in New York City means the whole city is your classroom.  This year we already have trips scheduled to the Whitney Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Lincoln Center and The New Victory Theater.

Viva La Art!


Ms.M said...

It looks like an amazing place to visit.

Ms. M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I can't wait to check this place out next trip to the big apple! and I hope the Hundertwasser model is part of the permanent exhibit, it looks fun, his view of what a home should be is spot on!

Angella Lister said...

I spent some happy days at Childrens Museum of the Arts when my own two were young. I'll have to check out its new home.

Gary said...

Ms. M - It is and I am sure that you would love it.

Kimy - It would be great if we could plan a trip when you are in town. Something to keep in mind.

Angella - This new space is so different from the cramped quarters of their old home. It was still fantastic before but now there is even more room to let the magic happen. You'll love it!

Barbara said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of a clay bar! What an exciting opportunity for your class!

Gary said...

Barbara - We didn't have an opprotunity to visit the clay bar but you can bet that I walked by it very slowly a few times to see what it was all about. It seemed fun.


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