The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art was a popular destination for many on Jun. 16. While people of all ages roamed the JCSM’s grounds playing Pokémon Go, families gathered inside for the museum’s monthly Family Studio.
“This is sort of bringing people away from their phones and getting them to use new venues of making art,” local art historian John David Carcache said. “It’s good for them to activate the right side of the brain and challenge themselves to make new art.”
Before creating their own art, families were first given a tour of two of the museum’s latest exhibits. The first gallery held different kinds of photographic media which were donated to JCSM by the Museum Project. The Museum Project was started by photographer and professor Robert von Stemberg in 2012, and since its establishment, it has donated artwork to almost a hundred museums.
“I like [Family Studio] because they get culture, they get to learn about whatever the museum has for the month,” Anita Allen said. “And they get to come here and physically do what they get to see, and it’s really great for my grandsons.”
As families moved through the galleries, Carcache explained the significance of the each of the art pieces and encouraged children through questions to talk about their interpretations of the art.
The families also toured a collection of drawings by the late Beth Van Hoesen. The works were donated to JCSM by the Hoesen’s estate in 2012.
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After viewing the galleries, families were seated tables for their art project. Each kid could choose a laminated copy of one of the works they viewed and could add to piece by outlining it with sharpies and sticking transparent paper over the sheet.
“You usually use colored pencils and watercolors, well this is using a material they might not usually see,” Carcache said.
Gavin Knight, who came to Family Studio with his grandmother and father, choose to decorate a lightbulb. Knight said he choose the work “because it made me think of an idea.”
Carcache said that the age range for Family Studio is typically K5-6th grade but families of any age are welcome to attend. The event is free, but families must register ahead of time. Also, the event is limited to no more than 50 people.
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