Back to

City of Light meets the Circle City

Photo of Zadig Perrot by Eric Lubrick

Photo of Zadig Perrot by Eric Lubrick

Recently, 14-year-old Zadig Perrot, from Paris, France, spent two weeks at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. During his first week he attended the Social Photography summer camp for teens where he learned how to use a camera and Photoshop. You can see some of his photos in the slideshow below.

Zadig’s photos and the works of other Summer Camps participants are on view in the Community Gallery on the first floor of the IMA through August 8.

During his second week at the IMA, Zadig spent his time with the Interpretation, Media and Evaluation department. He helped them with some of their tasks and created this video to showcase what the department does at the IMA.

Thanks for your work, Zadig! We hope you enjoyed your visit with us as much as we enjoyed hosting you!


Filed under: Art, Audience Engagement, Education, Guest Bloggers, IMA Staff, Photography


Toddlers, art, and the IMA

Today's blogger is Heidi Davis-Soylu, Manager of Academic Engagement and Learning Research at the IMA.

The TAG group visits the Orchard and Greenhouse to collect plant fibers. Photo by Eric Lubrick.

The TAG group visits the Orchard and Greenhouse to collect plant fibers. Photo by Eric Lubrick.

This year at the IMA, we’re excited about a new school program designed specifically for preschools. The Toddler Art Group (TAG) launched in September with the help of our partner school, St. Mary’s Child Center at the Butler Lab location, and partnering arts organization, Arts for Learning. If you happen to see a clever bunch of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds singing, drawing, or performing in the galleries, you might have spotted our TAGers!

From September through May, 20 of our friends from St. Mary’s will visit the IMA twice each month for TAG time. A typical TAG session begins with a hunt for Tag Tiger, a stuffed animal tiger who likes to take naps in the galleries. Guided by a modified version of “we’re going on a bear hunt,” our tag_tigerfriends from St Mary’s locate Tag Tiger and then take her for a walk to look at art and find a good place to read her a story. Story time is followed by two or three sensory activities that help students build their own meaning of the art and, we hope, to establish positive relationships more broadly with art, learning, and the Museum. On their second visit each month, students explore art-making in an IMA studio classroom and revisit an artwork from the previous visit that resonated with the children the most. For example, the group decreed “the ship” (Tim Hawkinson’s Möbius Ship) the most intriguing work from our first tour of the Contemporary galleries.

We look forward to learning a lot from the students throughout this pilot year and we hope to grow the program during the next academic year to include more partner schools.

Readers of this post might also be interested in our wee Wednesdays program designed for children ages 0 through 5, open to the public.

Filed under: Art, Audience Engagement, Education


Making art accessible to low-vision visitors

Today's blog post was written by Jennifer Todd, Manager of Docent Programs, and the IMA’s Accessibility Core of Docents.

The IMA wants to share art with everyone, including those with vision loss and other disabilities. We welcome the opportunity to offer monthly tours for blind and low vision visitors to be guided by touch and description through the Museum’s permanent collection. The Touch & Audio Descriptive Tours, which are open to the public, take place on the first Saturday of each month at 11 am — including this Saturday, December 7.

low_vision_tourTwo interactive approaches are offered during these public tours. The Touchable approach offers visitors of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience original works of art through their sense of touch. Visitors are provided with nitrile gloves, while museum educators guide their touching and describe the work of art. The Audio Description approach offers visitors, along with their families, companions or caregivers, the opportunity to engage in a discussion of works of art through the use of descriptive narration and participant interaction. Tours include a combination of both approaches. Group sizes are small and interaction is encouraged.

If you, or someone you know, are looking for an opportunity to get in touch with art — we invite you to join us!

Reservations for these tours is recommended, and can be made by contacting Wendy Wilkerson at Visitors may also schedule a private group tour by appointment.

Filed under: Art, Audience Engagement, Education


Learning with the Lite-Brite

Who here had a Lite-Brite when they were kids? Nope, not me! It was the one toy that I remember asking for over consecutive birthdays and Christmases that I never received. And now, many many years later, I still want a Lite-Brite. Lucky for me, I work at the IMA and we have a 7 x 5 foot Lite-Brite in our Star Studio! Though it was built with 3 to 6-year-olds in mind, you might just find me hanging with the little ones creating colorful compositions using neon acrylic pegs.

Image from:

Image from:

But why does the IMA have a giant Lite-Brite at all? Well, it turns out that there are many educational components, beginning with imaginative play. As many early childhood studies have shown, play-based learning enhances the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development in early childhood. And … BONUS … play is an ideal opportunity for grow- ups to engage with their children. The purpose of the Lite-Brite, first made by Hasbro in 1967, is to create images using colored pegs. But Hasbro was not the first to come up with the concept of making pictures using colored dots. The term “pointillism” first came about in the 1880s, when artists like Georges Seurat began to make large-scale paintings using small colored dots of paint. The IMA has a couple of good examples of pointillism — Georges Seurat’s The Channel of Gravelines, Petit Fort Philippe, and Alfred William Finch’s The Road to Nieuport.

But it turns out that the concept of pointillism has been around even longer. Think mosaics. The earliest known mosaics have been dated to 3000 BC! And mosaics use colored stone, glass, shells or the like to create large, and sometimes quite elaborate, works of art.

lite_brite_07_loAnd in the 21st century, dots are everywhere! You are reading this on your computer or some other sort of digital device that produces words, pictures and graphics using pixels. Pixels are just little colored dots of light that, when arranged in a particular order, make an image. Which brings us back to the Lite-Brite … now ready for play and learning in the Star Studio on Floor 2.

Filed under: Art, Education


Art Packs: Portable, Interactive Arts Activities for Young Museum Visitors

Today’s guest blogger is by Rachel Wendte, an intern in the IMA’s Development Department.

Children are immersive. When they color a picture, for example, only the most disciplined will keep their colors inside the lines. The truly passionate artist will extend their colors to the edge of the page, onto the table, and all over their hands and arms. In everything they do, children look to be active participants; experiencing the artistic process in the most intuitive way possible.

Now imagine one of those little artists, full of their own passion, curiosity, and creativity, and taking them to the IMA. Everywhere they look their eyes land on items they want to investigate further. The questions start flowing, “How did the painter make those colors?” “What’s that made of?” “How did the artist put all of those pieces together?”


You would like to help, to encourage discovery, but despite your best intentions, another phrase slips from your mouth instead: “Don’t touch.”

Don’t touch. That phrase may be one of the quickest ways to deter an inquisitive mind. Dejected, your little one may spend the rest of the visit silently viewing the art on display, wishing there was something they could do to connect to the art without damaging it. To not only see, but to engage with art on a level that speaks to their imagination.

For every budding creative out there, for every art detective, and for every child who desires to experience art on their terms, the IMA would like to offer our inaugural Art Packs program.

Launching this summer, the Art Packs program will be a way for children visiting the IMA to experience works of art through structured activities that enable them to create for themselves while priceless art is preserved. Every Art Pack will contain materials centered on a theme such as line, shape, color, or pattern. All the items in each Pack will work with the theme to generate activities that correspond to particular objects in the IMA’s collection.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Audience Engagement, Education, Guest Bloggers


Recent Flickrs

Avant BrunchAvant BrunchAvant BrunchAvant BrunchAvant BrunchAvant Brunch