Blogs Field Guide Raising Creative Kids

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Big Ideas, Short Films: Sneak Peek at March’s Free First Saturday

By Rachel Kimpton. Want to shed the winter blues with a little cinematic magic? Come to the Walker Art Center this Saturday, March 2, for Free First Saturday Kids Film Festival. The lineup is filled with movies about food, acceptance and love. Prepare to be dazzled by live-action, animation, and 3D films. To pique your […]

By Rachel Kimpton.

Want to shed the winter blues with a little cinematic magic? Come to the Walker Art Center this Saturday, March 2, for Free First Saturday Kids Film Festival. The lineup is filled with movies about food, acceptance and love. Prepare to be dazzled by live-action, animation, and 3D films.

To pique your interest, here’s a sneak peak of the films being screened this Saturday.

 

Big Ideas, Short Stories

Below are a few of the short animated films being screened at 11 am and 1 pm in the Walker Cinema.

Ormie (Canada, 2010), a film by Rob Silvestri, is about a curious pig dedicated to obtaining his obsession: sweet, warm cookies. Will he ever get what he wants?

Yvette Edery’s film Jillian Dillon (USA, 2009) is the story of a hippoplatypus—half hippo, half platypus—who transforms her differences into helpful powers that save the day.

In Nate Winckler’s film Twirl (USA, 2012), a speaker dances along to the music it plays and ignites friendships with others.

Ben Hora (France, 2010) captures the hardships faced by an immigrant family upon their arrival in a new country. Film by Nicolas Bianco-Levin and Julie Rembauville.

Pishto leaves everything behind one autumn day and makes a new friend during his journey in Sonya Kendel’s film Pishto Goes Away (Russia, 2012).

Kiss – A Love Story (Norway, 2011) is a film by Joseph Hodgson and Franck Aubry that explores the relationship of the sun and the moon during a solar eclipse.

A scientist receives an unexpected visitor while conducting experiments in Pasturized (Argentina, 2012). Directed by Nicolas Villarreal.

 

3D Adventures

The following 3D films will be screened at 3 pm in the Walker Cinema. 3D glasses will be provided.

Paul Emile-Boucher’s film Tuurngait (France, 2011) tells the story of a boy led by a magical snow goose into the ice forests where the dangers are too much for any boy to handle alone.

 

When a boy gets his heart broken, he uses a magic spell to create an emotional shield. The Boy in the Bubble (Ireland, 2011) is a lesson about letting your emotions get to your head—and your heart! The film is directed by Kealan O’Rourke, and narrated by Alan Rickman.

 

When Anna’s father leaves to work abroad, it seems to be the worst time of her life. Things take a turn for the better when she and her cousin discover the powers of a magic piano. Check out their adventures in Martin Clapp’s The Magic Piano (UK, 2011).

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The short story films will be shown one after the other at 11 am and 1 pm, and the 3D films will play at 3 pm. Don’t miss out on this great selection of short films from around the world!

A Year in Review: Highlights of 2012

By Rachel Kimpton. From the doors of the Walker Art Center to happenings around the city, state, country, and world at large, 2012 was indeed a whirlwind of a year. After putting our heads together, we present to you this compilation of outstanding family programs to shine as a beacon of inspiration for the year […]

By Rachel Kimpton.

From the doors of the Walker Art Center to happenings around the city, state, country, and world at large, 2012 was indeed a whirlwind of a year. After putting our heads together, we present to you this compilation of outstanding family programs to shine as a beacon of inspiration for the year to come.

Arty Pants

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Last winter, visitors created “cool” paintings and sculptures using colored ice as a medium, and designed their very own arctic creatures. Young guests transformed the windows overlooking Hennepin Avenue in the General Mills Hennepin Lounge with giant, colorful window clings. January featured the film Lost and Found, a heart-warming story based on the book by Oliver Jeffers. Spring activities largely incorporated the Lifelike exhibition and similar themes. Visitors toyed with scale by creating tiny models of their favorite places, preparing a paper feast large enough for giants, and manipulating the size of different body parts using a photo booth.

Steve Sanders of Snapdragon Seeds Music joined us in May and June. He improvised songs based on visitor observations of the Walker Art Center galleries and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Songs included a story about a cyclops (based on our old Murakami wallpaper), the journey of a young man from New York to Minnesota, and why John Waters is silly. You can enjoy a large batch of Steve’s Arty Pants songs on his website. Summer hosted two very fun hands-on projects. Kids created their own clay versions of freshwater creatures and collaborated to make paper garden with all the necessary inhabitants (including a garden gnome). During November and December, local dancer Timmy Wagner led several workshops teaching Merce Cunningham’s ideas behind artful movement and choreography.

Expect the unexpected.

One of our favorite things about Arty Pants is when visitors get excited and projects take unexpected turns.

Free First Saturday

February was all about snow. We planned to trick out sleds and take them for a spin down the hill,  but Minnesota threw us a curveball last winter. No snow? No problem! “Snow(less) Saturday” was a day of making cardboard snowmen with artists Andy Ducett and Scott Stulen, learning about bees with Terry McDaniel of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association,  and crafting valentines for residents at Twin Cities nursing homes with local artist Amanda Lovelee. Families had a chance to experience the imaginative process of film within the walls of the Walker Art Center in March. This day was very exciting, as the Walker hosted the regional premier of the award-winning animated Japanese film Oblivion Island.

April was a day of exploring memories, ancient traditions, and feelings of youth. Minnesotan playwright and performer Kevin Kling and author/illustrator Chris Monroe paid us a visit to narrate their collaborative work, Big Little Brother, a children’s book about sibling rivalry turned brotherly love. Families had the opportunity to enjoy Oscar-winning short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and to create wool felt alongside artists from the Textile Center.

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Battle master Scott Stulen and workshop boys Karl Unnasch and Andy Ducett.

In August, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was transformed into a giant LARPing (live action roleplaying) arena. The responsibility of freeing both the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden from a dangerous curse was placed in the hands of ordinary citizens. Participants encountered shopkeepers, trolls, shaman, fortunetellers, sirens, merchants, and others while completing various quests in order to lift the curse. September celebrated the power of reading,  storytelling, and community. Local author and illustrator Nancy Carlson led the activity Get Up & Read, allowing characters from her books to encourage guests to be active and move their bodies as they made their way through the Garden.

As the year began to wind down, November wound things back up again by coaxing out one’s inner inventor through experimental expression. Artist Margaret Pezalla Granlund transformed the Art Lab into a luminous forest where guests investigated the tricks of light, mirrors, and reflection. Electronic music pioneer Laurie Anderson held an afternoon workshop showcasing her invented instruments, projects, and music.

Laurie Anderson_Nov_2012

Laurie Anderson manipulating the voice of a participant.

Family Exhibition of the Year: Lifelike

Without a doubt, the Lifelike exhibition wins family favorite – hands down. Lifelike was on view for most of spring, opening in late February and ending in late May (you can read more about the exhibition here and here). This exhibition showcased how artists replicate everyday objects, challenging visitors to think about the art of design, and to recognize that “ordinary” does not necessarily imply “simple.” For children, this was a great introduction to exploring art outside of textbook examples, and to get a sense for what artists are doing and have done. The irony of altered scales or mediums, such as an oversized milk carton or a sleeping bag cast in bronze, was enjoyed by all and served as the perfect spark for dialogue

The gallery activities were very successful with this exhibition. Over 1000 scavenger hunt sheets made it into hands of visitors at family programs! Art Think, one of our gallery activities, asks children to describe their thoughts on a specific work of art that caught their attention. During Lifelike, kids tended to gravitate towards pieces from this exhibition and had a lot of interesting things to say.

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As the Walker Art Center is always changing and evolving, we hope that 2012 will serve as an excellent role model for the upcoming programs in 2013.

“Lumps and Bumps” in the Night: A Kawakubo/Cunningham Halloween

  Last week Hyperallergic posted an excellent blog entitled, “If You Hate Your Children and Love Art, Dress Them Like This for Halloween.” Inside, they shared elaborate ideas from around the web for dressing your little ones up like Frida, Andy, Vincent, or the Guggenheim. After reading it, I realized that the Walker had already […]

 

Last week Hyperallergic posted an excellent blog entitled, “If You Hate Your Children and Love Art, Dress Them Like This for Halloween.” Inside, they shared elaborate ideas from around the web for dressing your little ones up like Frida, Andy, Vincent, or the Guggenheim. After reading it, I realized that the Walker had already dressed dozens of children up (not even our own) in arty costumes. For October’s Free First Saturday, we took kids and their grown-ups on tours of Dance Works III: Merce Cunningham/Rei Kawakubo, an exhibition which showcases the costumes Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubuo created for Cunningham’s 1997 dance, Scenario. Afterwards, we led everybody in a movement activity to see how it felt to move when they had extra “lumps and bumps” on. I asked our prop and costume-maker extraordinaire, Frannie, to write up instructions for making your very own Cunningham costume:


Merce Cunningham Dancer Costume

Two piece of fabric:
1 – 60” long X 18” wide
1 – 18” long X 12” wide

Four pieces of Heat n Bond – iron on adhesive
2 – 18 inches long
2 – 12 inches long

Poly-fill
Iron

Lay large fabric piece flat on the floor. Take small fabric piece and lay in the center of larger piece. Use three of the hear n bond strips to iron three sides of the small fabric piece to the center of the large fabric piece. One side of the small fabric piece will be open – fill with poly-fill until the space resembles a big lump. Use the last heat n bond strip to seal in the poly-fill. Cut hole in the large fabric somewhere between the edge and the lump in the middle. Slide arm, leg or head through the hole and tie. OR, forgo the hole and tie around your hips, shoulder, arms or legs. Finished!

So go ahead! Revel in (your kid) having the most obscure costume on the block and let us know how it goes.

“Lifelike” Redux: A Six-Year-Old Re-creates the Exhibition, by Hand

By Emma Cohen Six-year old Ella and her grandmother Karen were on their way home from the Walker discussing the many amazing and interesting things they saw. Grandma Karen, picking up on Ella’s excitement, suggested making a work of art when they got back home.  But Ella was quick to offer a more ambitious idea: […]

By Emma Cohen

Six-year old Ella and her grandmother Karen were on their way home from the Walker discussing the many amazing and interesting things they saw. Grandma Karen, picking up on Ella’s excitement, suggested making a work of art when they got back home.  But Ella was quick to offer a more ambitious idea: “Let’s make the museum!” Inspired by Lifelike, the pair used a combination of household items and handmade objects to make their own version of the exhibition.  When we got word of their undertaking we had to see it for ourselves. Here is what we found…

Robert Therrien made Walker visitors feel small by making his No title (Folding table and chairs, brown) larger than life. Ella also created a shockingly new sense of scale–but in a creatively different way:

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March 3 Free First Saturday Sneak Peak

by Emma Cohen Craving some artsy family fun? Here is a preview of upcoming programming. March 3 is a day of foreign flix, including seven shorts from Germany, South Africa, UK, France, Iran, and Canada, and an animated feature-length Japanese movie. Everyone feels lonely sometimes. So when we saw these films about loneliness and friendship, we knew […]

by Emma Cohen

Craving some artsy family fun? Here is a preview of upcoming programming. March 3 is a day of foreign flix, including seven shorts from Germany, South Africa, UK, France, Iran, and Canada, and an animated feature-length Japanese movie.

Everyone feels lonely sometimes. So when we saw these films about loneliness and friendship, we knew we had to snatch them up and show them to you.  These works explore how characters overcome fear, boring rules, and even gravity to make friends and experience the beauty of the world–even if things don’t always turn out as planned!

In “Mobile,”  a 2010 German film by Verena Fels, a solitary cow literally flips her world upside down in order to make a friend.

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Theatre Play: Free First Saturday January

Free First Saturday was filled with theatrical enthusiasm this month.  Mu Performing Arts presented Hmong Tiger Tales, three short plays based on Hmong folk stories about tigers including Tiger and Crow, Mother Tigress, and Yer and the Tiger.  After the performance kids were able to try on the elaborate masks and ask questions, learning about […]

Free First Saturday was filled with theatrical enthusiasm this month.  Mu Performing Arts presented Hmong Tiger Tales, three short plays based on Hmong folk stories about tigers including Tiger and Crow, Mother Tigress, and Yer and the Tiger.  After the performance kids were able to try on the elaborate masks and ask questions, learning about the cultural significance of the stories.

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Family Adventures: 2011 in Review

From the organized chaos of Free First Saturday to the eloquent discoveries of Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, it has been quite a year in Family Programs at the Walker.  With each event carefully orchestrated by the devoted Walker staff I am reminded of the incredible company that surrounds me, working hard to provide an unmatched contemporary art adventure to kids and their […]

From the organized chaos of Free First Saturday to the eloquent discoveries of Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, it has been quite a year in Family Programs at the Walker.  With each event carefully orchestrated by the devoted Walker staff I am reminded of the incredible company that surrounds me, working hard to provide an unmatched contemporary art adventure to kids and their parents in the community.

Highlights from Free First Saturday include the Animation Station, a Free First Saturday activity led by Schell Hickel and Katie Maren.  Kids sculpted their own characters out of clay and put them to work in their own stop-motion animation.  In April Robin Schwartzman’s sculptural play space was set up for kids to interact with in the activity Jump On In!, an event accompanied by a slapstick puppet performanceChris Larson joined the kids in the Art Lab hot-gluing wooden structures for a project reminiscent of his piece in the Spectacular Vernacular exhibition.  July teemed with hip hop splendor during a full day of dance workshops led by Kenna Camara-Cottman, beat boxing, and graffiti demonstrations.  The summer culminated in a memorable LARP (Live Action Role Playing) battle on the field, featuring an exclusive visit by the Corporate Wizard, an event planned in conjunction with the Soap Factory.  Amanda Lovelee joined us for a day of community building in early Autumn, teaching us not to hesitate to meet our neighbor in a square dancing bonanza on Open Field.  October began with a bang when the Bakken Museum came to show kids how to construct rockets and build electric circuits while November and December were all about performance and design, Kaleena Miller and company performing the vibrant, tap dancing piece, Fleet and Kindra Murphy teaching the kids a thing or two about typeface design.

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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.

 

 

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