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Lessons Learned in Summer ARTventures (By an Adult)

by Cincinnati Art Museum


learning & interpretation , education , summer camp , youth & families , in the galleries , Russell Ihrig , events & programs

School days are fast upon us, but we still have two more weeks of Summer ARTventures left at The Cincinnati Art Museum. We’ve already learned so much this summer… students and adults! Here are some of our instructors, Bonnie and Russell’s favorite lessons from this summer’s ARTventures.

Conservation is hard!
Last week’s Museum Magic class gave students a behind the scenes look at the Art Museum, including a tour with one of our conservators, Megan Emery. We had no idea that just one of our Tiffany windows consisted of nearly 600 pieces. That’s 600 pieces of glass that had to be taken apart, cleaned and reassembled! We also learned that they make their own cotton swabs in conservation, which turned out to be way harder than it looked. We decided using premade swabs was an easier way for our kids to get their own hands on polishing silver and experiencing the hard work our conservation team completes.

It’s always fun and games at the beach.

In honor of Edward Henry Potthast’s famous beach paintings, we took a pretend trip to the beach to practice our life-drawing skills. Everyone took turns posing with props like beach chairs, umbrellas, beach balls and inner tubes – even the instructors. When it was the instructors turn, Russell opted for the polka-dot inner tube. Apparently this wasn’t humiliating enough, because many kids chose to draw him in a pink tutu instead. These kids have some humorous imaginations!

The Tyler Davidson Fountain is made of old cannon bronze.
While considering which works to study in ourTrash to Treasure session, one of our fabulous docents made an unlikely suggestion. Many of our works are clearly made from recycled found objects, like Nam June Paik’s Powel Crosley, Jr. or Robert Rauschenberg’s Kaleidoscope Summer Glut. However, we had no idea that Fountain Square’s Genius of Water is made from 24 short tons of cannon bronze. The kids then went pretend “dumpster diving” for items recycled from our staff and families, making some really amazing 3D sculptures that were the very definition of turning “Trash into Treasure.”

Pretzels are about as popular as Goldfish crackers.
Snack time was the best time for the kids to discuss their favorite part of the art tour and fuel up for some creative art-making. But as kids are full of surprises, we were even surprised with the results of their favorite snacks! We know, Goldfish should be the clear winner, right? They are easily one million times tastier, but not according to roughly 45% of Tristate youth who consistently choose pretzels. As for juice boxes, it seems like fruit punch is the most popular, and mixed berry the clear loser. Please feel free to share these scientific statistics.

Our 2013 Instructors:
Bonnie Ward, Summer Camp Manager
Emma Thompson, Learning + Interpretation Intern
Russell Ihrig, Coordinator for Interpretive Programs

To learn more about our Youth + Family programs, click here or visit our Calendar.