Blogs Field Guide Frannie Kuhs

Films for Families Matter

When most people see films about diving giraffes, walking houses and misfit toys they think silly and funny, these films also tell deep and profound stories. Each year in March, Free First Saturday hosts a Kids’ Film Festival featuring films from around the world. This is a once a year chance to expose families to […]

When most people see films about diving giraffes, walking houses and misfit toys they think silly and funny, these films also tell deep and profound stories. Each year in March, Free First Saturday hosts a Kids’ Film Festival featuring films from around the world. This is a once a year chance to expose families to different cultures and artists through short and feature films that are not widely accessible on a big screen.

Preparing for this event always begins with a visit to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Last fall as I watched all types of children’s films in a screening room, I thought about connecting films to themes in art and exhibitions while also considering what kids and adults will enjoy. It is interesting how filmmakers are able to address identity, relationships, politics and the human condition in a way that is accessible to all. After watching over a hundred films I had the daunting task of selecting just a few to screen for families at the Walker.

I am really looking forward to sharing the films chosen and listening to the audience reactions. I hope you enjoy this year’s Kids’ Film Festival as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Short Films

5 Mètres, 80

A herd of giraffes launches into a sequence of acrobatic dives in a deserted swimming pool.

Directed by Nicolas Deveaux, France, 2012, 5 minutes.

 

Bear Story

An old bear goes out every day to a busy street corner, where he sets up and presents a special puppet show.

Directed by Gabriel Osorio, Chile, 2014, 10 minutes.

 

Copacao

In a fantastical story about the town of Copacao, an imaginary tree grows and grows to the point of taking over the whole planet.

Directed by Carciova Adrian, Romania, 2013, 3 minutes.

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Home Sweet Home

Tired of its neighborhood, a house in Detroit breaks free from its foundation and sets out on an adventure.

Directed by Alejandro Diaz, Pierre Clenet, Romain Mazevet, and Stéphane Paccolat, France, 2013, 10 minutes.

 

Lambs

Sheep parents are bewildered by their little lamb whose style sets it apart from the herd.

Directed by Gottfried Mentor, Germany, 2013, 5 minutes.

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Little Matryoshka

A matryoshka family, wary of strangers, takes shelter in solitude but the curiosity of its youngest member soon leads them on a life-changing adventure.

Directed by Serin Inan and Tolga Yildiz, Turkey, 2014, 9 minutes.

 

Macropolis

Two defective toys discarded from a factory go on a hunt to find a new home that appreciates them for their uniqueness.

Directed by Joel Simon, Northern Ireland, 2012, 7 minutes.

 

Mia

In her quest to help her mother, a little girl unlocks the hidden secrets that make the world turn.

Directed by Wouter Bongaerts, Belgium, 2013, 9 minutes.

 

The Dam Keeper

A small town’s survival is solely due to a large windmill that acts as a fan to keep out poisonous clouds. Its operator, Pig, works tirelessly to keep the sails spinning, despite bullying from classmates. When a new student joins his class, everything begins to change.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutusmi, USA, 2013, 18 minutes.

The Numberlys

In a world where there is no alphabet and only numbers, a group of friends sets out to devise a new way to communicate.

Directed by William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg, USA, 2013, 12 minutes.

 

Feature Film

Song of the Sea

From the creators of the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of a seal-child and her brother who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

Directed by Tomm Moore, Ireland/Luxembourg/Belgium/France/Denmark, 2014, 93 minutes.

 

Join us for an exciting day of kids’ films from around the world! Enjoy free gallery admission and family fun on March 7 from 10 am-3 pm. Activities designed for kids ages 6 to 12.

Kid Critics: Hodges and Hopper

At Free First Saturday on April 5, we asked kids what they thought about the artworks in the current exhibitions Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take and Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process.  Here is what some of them said about their favorites: Jim Hodges, The Dark Gate Pick one word to describe this work […]

At Free First Saturday on April 5, we asked kids what they thought about the artworks in the current exhibitions Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take and Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process.  Here is what some of them said about their favorites:

Jim Hodges, The Dark Gate

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Pick one word to describe this work of art:

Expertish – Tenzin, age: 10 3/4

Outer space – Ciara, age 10

Creepy – Finn, age 7

Why did you pick that word?

Seems to require lots of artistic skill – Tenzin

Because from inside the box the shape between the spikes looks like a black hole – and from the outside it looks like a sun.  – Ciara

Because the box was all dark. It was like ‘knights’ were around me because of the swords.  – Finn

What does it make you think about?

A spider – Tenzin

The cosmos – Ciara

Like knives were all around me – Finn

Make up a story about this work of art…

Riddle:  What can crawl up walls has eight legs and is black?  Answer: Black Widow  – Tenzin

Once upon a time there was a black hole (which is an exploded star) that lived next to a sun (which is a medium sized star) – they were friends.  One day when the sun was orbiting the black hole (which stars do) the two of them got so close they formed together making a big wall.  They were both the same thing – though when the light shines through the wall it makes a hole.  One side looks like the sun and the other a black hole.  – Ciara

If I was inside the box I feel like swords could be thrown around me.  – Finn

Edward Hopper, Summertime

Summertime

Pick one word to describe this work of art:

Summerish  – Elodie, age 8

3D  – Habtamu, age 11

Amazing  – Emani, age 11

Why did you pick that word?

Because it is light and bright  – Elodie

Because he did a very good job at shading and making it look 3D  – Habtamu, age 11

The details from the curtain to the girl are phenomenal  – Emani

What does it make you think about?

Summer  – Elodie & Habtamu

Freedom because the way she is standing – knowing she came from a rough start – now starts over fresh.  – Emani

Make up a story about this work of art…

There was a girl stepping out of an apartment.  – Elodie

Going outside to wait for her friend while she is enjoy the weather.  – Habtamu

She noticed nothing is holding her back and its time to be free.  – Emani

 

Which artworks will inspire your children? Come check out Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take (now-May 11) and Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process (now-June 20) and share with us what your kids think.

 

 

 

 

 

Making It: A Family Guide with Alyssa Baguss

For the third year in a row, the Walker’s Family Programs has commissioned a local artist to create an illustrated activity sheet for families. Traditionally unveiled at December’s Free First Saturday, these creations have taken the shape of a whimsical diagram of a playground-like museum (Andy Ducett, 2011); and a cleverly blended comic strip/map (Todd […]

For the third year in a row, the Walker’s Family Programs has commissioned a local artist to create an illustrated activity sheet for families. Traditionally unveiled at December’s Free First Saturday, these creations have taken the shape of a whimsical diagram of a playground-like museum (Andy Ducett, 2011); and a cleverly blended comic strip/map (Todd Balthazor, 2012). We’re delighted to continue this project and introduce the artist for this year’s activity sheet.

Alyssa Baguss put her own twist (and turns) on the idea of an interactive map to Walker galleries. To appreciate all that goes into her work, we asked the artist to share a bit about herself, her practice, and what she’s created.

Where did you grow up? 

Maquoketa, Iowa—you know where that is, right? I was always playing outside. If I wasn’t swimming I was up in a tree all day.

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What does your family do for fun?

When we are together (which isn’t as often as it used to be) we spend a lot of time outdoors. I’m really lucky to live with really easy-going funny people.

What was your first job?

I bused tables at a pancake house…..sticky maple syrupy tables.

When did you decide to commit to a career as an artist?

…..since I was 5? I didn’t pursue it as an actual career until I was in my early twenties when I realized that I would be living a horribly boring life if I couldn’t do my favorite thing every day.  I hate being bored.

What do you absolutely love to draw?

I love to draw technology and think about how it influences how we experience the world. I use drawing as a tool to problem solve and answer questions that I am thinking about.

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When you aren’t drawing you are…

Exploring nature, researching ideas, growing things, watching hot air balloons, playing an instrument or thinking about what I am going to draw next.

Who or what inspires you and your work?

For inspiration I visit galleries and museums, spend time in nature and do a lot of reading and research into things I’m curious about. I live by a pretty simple philosophy: be yourself, do what makes you happy and surround yourself with people who do the same. My family is exceptionally understanding of my…….intensity……and without that type of unconditional love the world wouldn’t be as shiny.

Tell us a little bit about your creative process for this gallery activity?

I spent a few years as an info guide at the Walker Art Center.  As an info guide, I was always giving directions to guests who were lost and complaining about the WAC being too much like a maze. A maze seemed like the perfect gallery activity where you may get confused, lost or take a wrong turn, and still see some incredible things along the way.

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I researched the artwork and architecture at the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and found pieces that interested me for the maze. I literally cut and pasted the composition together into a maze design with paper images, then drew the images with graphite. I tried not to make the maze too difficult but there are a few challenging areas. Just like the Walker, I want you to occasionally exclaim, “What?  How did we end up here?” Besides, I tend to find the best things when I get lost. Just embrace it.

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Come to Free First Saturday on December 7 from 10 am–3 pm to pick up the final version of Alyssa’s interactive gallery activity.

Arty Pants: Yoga Moves

Despite the chill in the air outside, it was warm in the Walker on Tuesday.  Arty Pants tots and their grown-ups invaded Medtronic Gallery to gather on the rug.  Local dancer Ellie Ahmann from Minnesota Dance Theatre led a yoga workshop that would warm anyone’s heart.  Join us for the next yoga workshops on November 26 and December […]

Despite the chill in the air outside, it was warm in the Walker on Tuesday.  Arty Pants tots and their grown-ups invaded Medtronic Gallery to gather on the rug.  Local dancer Ellie Ahmann from Minnesota Dance Theatre led a yoga workshop that would warm anyone’s heart.

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 Join us for the next yoga workshops on November 26 and December 10.  

 Photos by Gene Pittman

Art Beyond the Refrigerator

  I’ve amassed an overwhelming amount of my kids’ art projects over the years and in particular around the holidays. Any parent knows about the rotating collection of drawings held on the fridge door with magnets, paintings taped up on walls, or mobiles hanging from windowsills. The artworks slip into the trash or a keepsake […]

 

I’ve amassed an overwhelming amount of my kids’ art projects over the years and in particular around the holidays. Any parent knows about the rotating collection of drawings held on the fridge door with magnets, paintings taped up on walls, or mobiles hanging from windowsills. The artworks slip into the trash or a keepsake box as soon as the next masterpiece comes through the door. It’s sad that these artworks aren’t on display longer or for larger audiences. 

One creative family figured out a way to share their youngster’s artwork with family and friends in a more lasting way.  They turned their grandchild’s art works into photo cards to send during the holidays!   It’s never too late to get started on next year’s holiday projects.

 

This art project started with colored tissue paper laid on watercolor paper. The tissue paper is then painted with water. The tissue paper bled onto the watercolor paper and created a wonderful mix of colors.

 

 

This art-making project was created with food coloring. A few drops of food coloring on wet watercolor paper created a mash of colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walker is very lucky to have such creative and hands-on parents, grandparents, and care-givers that are invested in raising creative kids. If you have any ideas to share, please post a comment. It would be great to hear your ideas.