by Elissa Conte
Welcome to the premier of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Family Blog! Starting today, on the third week of every month, our blog will feature a special family edition of what’s going on at the Art Museum and some ideas of things to cook up at home. As most of you know (hopefully), our programming features an array of art projects, story times, tours, scavenger hunts, entertainment and more designed specifically for families. If you didn’t know that, check them out here.
At the Art Museum, we are lucky to have so many budding artists who join us for our monthly programs. This past Friday, we hosted our youngsters for the fourth Culture Kids of the season with the theme “A Stroke of Genius”. This program is designed for preschoolers, accompanied by an adult, who enjoy storytelling, a docent led tour, a snack, and hands-on art. This week we talked about texture in paintings and explored ways to achieve this in our own artwork without using a paintbrush. We focused especially on trees, as they contain an enormous range of texture both in nature and in art. We looked at the realistic representation of sycamore trees by Alexandre Calane and talked about the smoothness of the paint. We glanced around the corner to compare it to the bumpy, purple, impressionist trees by Claude Schuffenecker in The Road Under Trees and visited the American galleries to check out Sowing Wheat by Arthur Dove.
One of our favorite things to talk about with kids is how every artist in the whole world can be told to paint the exact same thing and each one will turn out differently. It fosters a sense of confidence in their work that you can’t find anywhere else. At this age, we think it is important that they feel comfortable expressing themselves creatively and that they know that if they say it’s a tree, then it is definitely a tree and not one of us can argue it. So, without further ado, here are three examples of trees created by some of our favorite Art Museum visitors.
And to get us in the holiday spirit…
Please join us next month on January 13th from 10:00-11:30 or 2:00-3:30 for another Culture Kids. The theme will be “Fine Print” and we will explore printmaking all over the museum. Each child will create their very own original edition of prints using some unexpected materials. Be sure to check back the following week to see what they come up with! Call 721-ARTS for ticketing and more information.
Integrating art at home:
In light of this month’s Culture Kids project, here is an idea for a project to paint with unusual tools at home.
Step 1: Get a shallow box (lids work great) and tape a white piece of paper to the bottom.
Step 2: Have your child go on a little hunt through the house to find anything that will roll, and that you don’t mind getting paint on; i.e. marbles, tennis balls, ping pong balls, beads, etc.
Step 3: Put two tablespoons of paint in the bottom. This is a great way to introduce color mixing by picking two primary colors and have them guess what will happen when they mix.
Step 4: Put the objects in the box either one at a time or all together and move the box to make them roll and see what happens.
Also on the agenda:
Wednesday, December 21st—Wee Wednesday: “Winter Wee Wednesday” 10:00-11:30 a.m.
FREE. Need something engaging to bring the kids to while they are off school for the holidays? Wee Wednesday, usually held on the final Wednesday of each month, always includes four interactive storytime stops in our galleries with our highly trained docents. However, this month, we have some surprises up our sleeves. Enjoy storytime as well as drop-in art projects.
*NEW– This program is now featuring a lunch buffet that will include a healthy, kid-friendly lunch. Brought to us by our very own Terrace Café, this optional buffet will begin at 11:30. It is all you can eat for a small fee of $3/child and $6/adult.
Saturday, January 7th—Family First Saturday: “Multiple Masterpieces” 1- 4 p.m.
FREE. Kick off the New Year with your family by learning about printmaking at the Art Museum. Visit Happen Inc.’s toy lab to make a one-of-a-kind toy made out of recycled toy parts. Talk to local artists Katie Labmeier and Chrissy Jackson about their work and enjoy performances by Chinese dancers. Complete our scavenger hunt that takes you through the museum and make a pit stop in Artworld for hands-on art!
-Elissa Conte, Coordinator for Family Learning