Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Art + Kids = Fun

I've always been afraid to take my kids to an art museum. I've always wanted to, but my fear stopped me. The aversion to kids at museums came from a very uncomfortable experience I had with my friend Amy and her 18 month old Alison at the National Gallery in London. Amy and I wanted to see an exhibit, but she could only take the baby. Of course, the baby had absolutely no problem making tons of noise and crying, and the people at the museum also had no problem showing their disgust. I was kid free at the time, so I felt more embarassed than I would be now, but the whole thing kind of scarred me for life.
To be completely honest, I did take Max to an art exhibit with me when he was still a very small baby, and I was totally dreading it, but the exhibit was of Edward Hopper, one of my favorite painters, and I wasn't going to miss it. I put him in the stroller, and, miracle of miracles, he slept through the whole thing.
Luckily, the local art museum is pretty kid friendly and free so it's not a huge loss if you have to make a run for it. I saw that they were doing an exhibit by Walter Wick, the creator of the I Spy books, which my kids love, so I decided to give it a try. The museum also had a great exhibit by artist Dan Steinhilber, which the kids loved too. It turned out great, and they were really great boys and seemed to be truly interested in a lot of it. Here's some photos:

Next to a balloon sculpture by artist Dan Stienhilber. I love this guy's art because it is temporary and always in flux. You can see how the balloons have already started deflating and falling down. The boys loved the colors.

This is my favorite by Dan Steinhilber, titled Duck Sauce. It's a huge canvas with what seems like a million packets of duck sauce attached to it. They're put on backwards so until you're right up next to it, you can't tell what they are. The packets glow like jewels and I love the waves they make. I wish I could have this one for the new house.

A close up of the packets, with a picture of a panda peeking through.
Max found this one and pointed it out to me.

A PVC pipe sculpture with a recurrculating sink. Max was fasinated with it
and took quite a few minutes to sort out where the water was coming from.

Actually, the only one who got in trouble was me, for taking pictures. The guard stopped me before we went into the Walter Wick exhibit, but the kids loved seeing pictures and sets from the I Spy books. Aftewards we went to the lobby of the museum and played I Spy with this sculpture. We found a hand, an alphabet, a cup, a man, and a bunch of other interesting things.

Then it was outside and sit in the 6o+ degree weather to wait for Daddy to be done at work. All in all it was a great outing.

So, I think I overcame my phobia of kids and museums. Of course, this was in the late afternoon on a Tuesday, so there was practically no one there, and we weren't in London. But it was a good baby step for all of us.


The Fam said...

you've inspired me to take my kids--the exhibit looks kid-friendly.

the frick doesn't allow kids under 16! Not sure how I feel about that!

also, it seems like a baby would be ok, but not a toddler running around touching everything, as is appropriate to the age.

Patricia said...

how fun! we were up at BYU bookstore today and decided to go to the exhibit tomorrow. My call since the weather is meant to be yucky tomorrow so something fun to do while inside.

Janell said...

We took HT to the SFMOMA when he was about 6 months old. He loved it and the people there, including the security people standing in each room were really nice and happy to see a baby there. I guess SF is different than London.