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.