I was assisting Elizabeth in her class, “Art Studio”, for 4 weeks during summer and I had an absolute pleasure. I also spent one of the sessions with my daughter that especially liked the part in the class where Elizabeth showed different pictures of art connected to facial expressions. Later, they created two masks, happy and sad face. We enjoyed changing masks in a fast pace for ourselves later at home. We also noticed the facial expressions of different faces in magazines or pictures hang at our home.
Inspired by this class I designed an activity to do with my kids during our visit to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York. What I did, is to build a “Family Art Scavenger Hunt” in the museum.
What I did?
I chose some of the art pieces aimed to a young audience that MOMA is offering. For each, I created a hint, a picture or a video. I glued the hints to different pages of an empty booklet, added some suggested activities for the hinted work of art, and left an empty page for the kids to artistically express themselves. I also asked them in the very beginning of our visit to draw their own self portrait.
The Kids Self Portraits.
The work of art: “The dream” by Henri Rousseau, 1910
This photo is taken from a famous Hebrew children book: “Mitz Petel” (“Rasperry Juice”) by Haya Shenhav. Mitz Petel (Raspberry Juice) is a mysterious creature lives in the woods, but hides his identity from the other creatures. Everyone, of course, want to discover what kind of animal he is. My intention was to hint the above work of art by showing another forest with many animals hiding in it.
But….Surprise!!!! My son related to the mystery motive in story from which the picture was taken and started looking for art pieces that has the mystery motive. For example, in this picture he found a mysterious character turning his back to the viewer. We used this opportunity to observe this art through hearing the museum audio guide and discussing it.
The discoveries were surprising to me and we enjoyed strolling together in the museum and find mystery in work of art.
- “Find as many creatures hiding in the wood”
- “Create a new creature which is a combination of creatures that you discovered”
Here are the kids’s invented creatures.
The whole idea of this activity was to slow my kids and encourage them to look. A visit in the museum can be overwhelming and one might think that the point is to go through as many art pieces as you can. But I wanted them to take the time to create their own meaning of the work of art. That’s also what Elizabeth is doing at her class. She allows the kids this moment to ponder upon a work of art. Thank you Elizabeth!!!