Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sharing Art Museums with Kids 1-1

Summer has a way of rushing by...especially when you are
flying around and enjoying family.   The above image of
figures in Jonathan Borofsky's "I dreamed I could
fly" exhibit at Boston's MFA ..seems like a good place to start
this summer reflection about Museums of Art which attempt
to be more viewer and especially family friendly.

We are fortunate that our grandchildren love museums.
Though I  have to admit it still surprised me a bit that
when I told our 10 year old grandson and then
later  our  7 year old granddaughter I would like to spend
some good 1-1 time with each, they both chose the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts. ( was hot...and the MFA
air conditioned!..and we'd already explored parks and the
Science Museum.) 

Under its new leadership, The Boston MFA has been trying
to make the museum a friendlier place and to make
a visit a  participatory event.

Their Megacities Asia exhibit this Spring was an example of
success. It encouraged you at every chance to explore
and interact with the art as well as to talk about
some of the major social issues it suggested. Besides
the Gund gallery,  pieces of the exhibit were spread
around the entire museum encouraging visitors to tour
many areas of the museum.

That's our grandson inside this bamboo structure.
created by Asim Waqif .which resonated through an
electronic device when various parts were tapped.

Viewers were encouraged to walk under and around
the draped shaped plastic bags by Aaditi Joshi.
check out her video comments at mfa video

Hema Upadhyay's "8'x12'" gave you a sense of being
inside a city of shacks the same time demonstrating
the 8 x 12 usual size of the structures and materials they
are made of in various cities across the world. Hema talks
about the impact of moving to Mombai from Pakistan
has on a MFA video. Sadly urban violence ended
her life in December of 2015 when she was murdered.

Our grandson's (and probably my) favorite piece
was "Chaosmos" by Seoul artist Choi Jeong Hwa :

The entire gallery  - floors, ceiling and walls were covered
by mylar...a chandelier moved slowly in the middle..
a comfortable chair was place in the center for viewers
to sit upon to take in the shifting perspective. In a video
posted by the MFA, the artist talks about "having art
come down to play with us"... Yes!   He had four piece in
the exhibit including the  breathing flower in the front of the
MFA Huntington entrance. He is passionate about using
everyday materials...

Our grandson said the experience was going to influence how
he saw things beyond that room.......Isn't that what art is supposed
to accomplish?

When I was there with our granddaughter, she found a "shadow"
friend to share the visit (actually painted on the wall in the Linde
Family Wing)

By the time I returned to spend a morning at the MFA with
her, some of the megacities exhibit was sadly gone..
but not all... including the "snake ceiling" by Ai Weiwei
(We took a photo of it for her cousin who has a pet
snake...a smaller one..)

 The snake is made from children's backpacks honoring
the children lost in the collapse of a poorly constructred
school in China's Sichuan province after the 2008 
earthquake. Upset with the lack of publicity and denial of 
of governmental responsibility, Ai Weiwei visited the site,
Seeing all the backpacks and school supplies of the
crushed children inspired the piece. 

Up in the contemporary gallery, both kids enjoyed this sculpture (I
have to go back to find the name of the apologies, I couldn't
find it online.) Structure of wood and wire mesh is intriguing on several
levels. It's cool to look into and take a photo through the hole...although
we discovered when there with Eliana that we weren't supposed to
step up like Joaquin did...oops.. - a step and a handle certainly called
to be used... 

Our granddaughter had fun with a bingo game from the MFA -
Each square was a different media or materials art could be made from-
metal, glass, paper pen, ink, wood...She searched for  something
in all the categories...Then in the outdoor cafe over lunch, we listed
more categories - water, air, food, leaves.. .Both kids  enjoyed taking
photos of the art.......Eliana wanted a photo of herself ..It took quite a 
few pics before she settled on this one as a favorite piece of art from
the day:

After having family living with us for six weeks, the house
seems eerily quiet.  I'm back to filling neglected orders
and working for Fall shows and a gallery exhibit. 
I've also finished giving a series of workshops for
the organization Families Creating Together... 
that workshop will be the topic of my next post. 

Have a fantastic end of summer savoring art,
friends and family...

Adventure on.......Wendy

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. How wonderful to have a good long time adventuring with grandchildren at the MFA and other places. It is eerily quiet when they leave.