Summer Art Workshops do not run this week because of the 4th of July holiday, so I am able to take some breathes and participate in museum programs that I do not normally have the opportunity to be a part of.
Today, I joined an Artful Adventure tour. As described by CMA, Artful Adventures is, “is a unique preschool experience focusing on play, imagination, and wonder in CMA galleries. Preschool groups spend one hour exploring CMA with specially trained education staff members to discuss, imagine, and engage in hands-on activities that foster imaginative thinking.” This program is facilitated by the Learning department that I work under and often has summer camps and daycares sign up to participate.
It was fascinating to watch the preschool aged children react and discuss works of art hanging on the gallery walls. Our first stop was in front of a large piece that depicts a pool of water reflecting trees, a man, and clouds. The children talked about the strangeness of seeing familiar objects that are hanging upside down.
Then, using materials that we brought up to the galleries we had the students create a picnic for the man in the painting to eat. Most of the students jumped right in and were able to access their imagination quickly in order to decide what this upside-down man in the water would want to eat. Other kids needed a little encouragement about how to use material such as little puff balls, foil, and pipe cleaners to make something delicious.
Our last stop of the Artful Adventure was in front of a series of four works that show body shapes behind watery panes of glass. The children were quickly able to pick up on the sadness or creepy feeling that the pictures evoke. Using makeshift clip boards and paper, we had the students draw what they think the people behind the water really look like.