Today I am sharing both a review from my friend, Rebecca, on the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis AND a fun art project that she inspired.
REVIEW OF WALKER ART CENTER:
The Walker has many different rooms with different exhibits. They also have theatres that showcase films. You could get lost easily! The front desk people are very helpful if you have questions. The museum is kid friendly, but the museum “security” will remind you and your child to remain 2 feet from the artwork. There are MANY spaces to this museum. There is a large open room for children and families to gather with books, clipboards for drawing, and couches. This area also opens up onto an outdoor space above the gardens, so if you need inspiration for drawing you can go out there.
Some Helpful Things to Know:
*There is an open coatroom that is free. There are lockers that take a quarter and you get your quarter back when you are done.
*The first free Saturdays of the month are geared toward children. Mostly preschool age and up. There are different artists featuring hands on activities for kids.
*It’s still a great place for toddlers – big spaces to move around climb stairs and if your toddler will engage with art, look at art.
Located across a street from the Walker is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This is a free sculpture garden with many pieces of artwork. There also is a small conservatory that is free Tuesday through Sunday. This is a great place for all children to explore. There are paths for strollers and benches for sitting (and nursing). Online there is a great interactive map of the gardens and what sculptures you will find.
More Twin Cities ideas from Rebecca:
*Caponi Art Park
*Wood Lake Nature Center
*Minneapolis Institute of Art
*A Weekend in the Twin Cities
Visiting an art museum always inspires one to immediately start creating. Feel free to bring some simple drawing materials along with you in case your child wants to sit down and draw.
Here are some fun ways to extend your child's experience and do some creating together after your trip to the museum.
*Provide your child with various types of “found objects” to create sculptures with, such as toilet paper tubes, bottle tops, fabrics, etc.
*Follow up with your child after the visit, writing down what they remembered seeing (have your child see you write down their words) and have the child draw a picture.
*Paint on canvas.
Painting on canvas can be as simple and open-ended or as focused as you want. The art museum always encourages me to pull out canvas though for a painting experience that is different than always using paper. You can pick up canvas at an art store or on amazon. Typically when we paint on canvas it is open ended and completely child-led, however when we last visited my lovely friend Rebecca she had a huge gorgeous canvas that her daughter had been working on for weeks. I had never done a multi-day art activity with the kids before (since then we have with projects like this one), but this sounded like a great idea.
The process is simple:
*Set up a painting on canvas invitation for your child.
*When your child is done set it somewhere to dry overnight.
*The next day, set up the invitation again for them to paint more.
I have to admit, on day two I was a little skeptical. What had been some interesting paintings looked a lot like a dark brown mess, but after another day or two they started to look interesting again. My kids enjoyed coming back to their art again over several days and it extended the life of both the canvas and the interest in our museum trip. When they decided they were completely done we hung them up proudly on our art wall.
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