Friday, June 19, 2009

Dayton Art Institute

Today we FINALLY got out of the house and took everyone to the Dayton Art Institute.

It was there that I decided what my new dream job is. When you walk in the door the information desk ladies introduced us to their free kids program. They have a program that after a brief registration they provide each child/teen with a packet that is color coded. Today we did the "green" pack. The kids packets include close up images of a portion of an artwork that the kids have to "find." Once the kids find the work of art (there are museum maps on the back of the packets and the artwork is very easy to find) there are questions on the back of each artwork's card that the kids must answer. For example one of the early Renaissance paintings had a hidden picture of a king in the landscape. The card went on to talk about symbols and hidden pictures in paintings.

My kids (8 and 11) were absolutely enthralled with the scavenger hunt.

The museum general admission is free (only the special exhibits have an entrance fee) and it would take 4 visits to complete each of the scavenger hunt packets. You receive a punch on your kids club card each time you com Once you complete all four each child receives a REALLY nice art kit in a snazzy plastic carrying case. The art kit included a wonderful set of pastels, watercolors, etc. Very nice, NOT cheap.

In addition to the 4 scavenger hunts the museum also had a great childrens section in the lower level. It was hands on with puppet show supplies and lots of interactive things in the center, but around the perimeter of the room there was a collection of (real)artwork that went from A to Z. Each letter had an activity or blurb to read and explain things to kids. Here is H with the H is for Horizon section.

Hannah was instructed to draw a 5 second horizon line.

I was for imagination. Next to this painting by Miro was a card reading I is for imagination. Artists use their imagination to create works, use your imagination to describe what you see in this picture.

So my dream job? Designing all these interesting children's activites and brochures. I have always wanted to write a book about weird and interesting facts about different paintings and sculptures, the stuff I learned in art school. Maybe I will write a coffee table book about facts the painting American Gothic, Grant Wood's models were his dentist and his sister.

I LOVE this kind of stuff.

We hear the DAI now too. Only 19 miles from our house...and the kids begged to go back next week so they could do another scavenger hunt.


Jennifer said...

That is so cool! Our boys did a similar scavenger hunt at the Getty in LA (do you hear the angels sing when I type "Getty"? I do! LOL). You would be great the those kinds of things -- and can I edit the coffee table book? Pretty please?

Careless said...

Jennifer-Duh. Who else would I ask?