Highly Hands-On

Family Programs at the High Museum of Art

Get Outside! July 25, 2014

Filed under: General,I'm bored — erinkdougherty @ 2:26 pm

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Atlanta boasts quite a bit of green space for a big city.  Many houses have wooded yards, the Beltline cuts through some gorgeous areas, and Piedmont Park is 185 acres right in the middle of the city. How about taking an adventure to the great outdoors around us and taking the family on a nature treasure hunt? Send out your little adventurers in search of pinecones, funny-shaped rocks, ferns, and bugs.  Encourage them build fairy houses out of twigs and leaves. Let them stay up a little past their bedtime to have a night picnic and keep watch for fireflies. Give them little notebooks to catalog their outdoor findings. Have a fun en plein air watercolor session outside!

Our city has so much to offer and sometimes nature can be the best teacher.  Let’s get outside!

 

Erupting Ice Chalk! July 16, 2014

Filed under: General,I'm bored,Projects at Home — erinkdougherty @ 4:35 pm
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Summer sure doesn’t let up in Georgia, does it? This is definitely the hottest place I have ever lived.  The heat has me scouring the web for new ideas to keep cool and have fun.  Lately I’ve been stumbling upon creative ideas for chalk and outdoor play. I have three words for you… Erupting Ice Chalk! I bet I have your attention now!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Equal parts water, cornstarch, and baking soda. (You can start out with a 1/3 c. of each)
  • Food coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Ice cube trays
  • Squeeze bottle

Mix together the water, cornstarch, and baking soda. You’ll end up with a nice white base that will make vibrant colors.  Split up the mixture into different bowls (based on the number of different colors you want to make.) Add food coloring to each of the bowls and mix.  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.

Here’s where the fun part begins! Take your kids outside and let them go to town stacking, sliding, and painting with the melting ice cubes. You can hose off the driveway or sidewalk beforehand to make the paint spread more quickly and easily if you want. Once the cubes are sufficiently melty, squeeze some vinegar onto the colorful mess and watch it erupt!  The best part is you can hose down the cement, and voila! No mess!

Erupting Ice Chalk is a science experiment, an art project, and a way to beat the heat all rolled up into one super cool activity.

 

 

Opening Weekend: Mi Casa, Your Casa July 9, 2014

Filed under: General,Upcoming Events — erinkdougherty @ 5:06 pm
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Hola muchachos! We have a very exciting month ahead of us.  Dream Cars has settled in for the summer, we have two new exhibitions in the Ann Cox Chambers Gallery, a newly-hung exhibition on the Lower Level, and a very special move-in date on the calendar. What is moving in, you ask? The thirty-six red houses that will make up our ambitious new Sifly Piazza installation Mi Casa, Your Casa! Our friends Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena are two leading contemporary designers in Mexico and the masterminds behind our red houses. Their 3-D open frames serve as an invitation to you and yours to come over and play!  We have months of planning lined up that will knock your socks off.

Everything kicks off with our opening fiesta on the weekend of July 18th. Family fun starts early on Saturday morning with two outdoor yoga classes right in the houses! There will be performances, art-making, outdoor games, and music!

Needless to say, this is going to be one weekend to remember.  And the best part is that the fun doesn’t stop!  We have art-making workshops and super cool activities planned throughout the summer and beyond. If summer vacation has your family going stir-crazy, bring them over to our houses! After all, Mi Casa is Your Casa.

The red houses have arrived and we are working together as a Woodruff Arts Center community to assemble them. Swing by to see our progress! For more information and specifics about the installation and our opening weekend celebration visit http://www.high.org/en/Programs/Programs/Events/2014-Events/Piazza-Programs/Sifly-Piazza-Programming.aspx

 

Goodbye and Hello July 3, 2014

Filed under: General — erinkdougherty @ 7:47 pm
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He has been a well-loved figure in everyday High life for years.  His honest gaze and listening ears have comforted many. He is exceptionally well-read and has a keen appreciation for the art in our galleries. However the time has come to say farewell to an old friend.  Ellsworth Kitty, our beloved education volunteer is retiring.  He has been a familiar face at Toddler Thursday for many years and has never missed a story time. But, don’t fear, Toddlers, parents, and alumni! Ellsworth has been training his replacement and would like to introduce you all to his dear friend Alex Cats.  No, he is not the famous contemporary painter whose works we collect in our gallery.  He is, however, an exceedingly cuddly and clean grey kitty that loves kids, learning, and playing with yarn balls.  We believe he will be a great fit here at the museum, even though he as big paw-prints to fill.

So be sure to give Alex Cats a hearty hello and a nice hug to welcome him to life at the museum!

 

Nellie Mae Rowe: At Night Things Come to Me July 2, 2014

Filed under: Favorite artist,General — erinkdougherty @ 6:29 pm
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Next time you visit the museum, go on a little scavenger hunt. You might be surprised at what you find!
Go up to the fourth floor of the Stent Wing. From the elevator, move straight ahead weaving throughout the maze of interesting furniture and contemporary jewelry. See that big reflective loopy chair? Turn to your left. If you see a life-size metal horse, you are on the right track. Once past the horse, turn right at the pink angel on the wall. This gallery has a smaller room within the room. Once you have found your way into its center, you have found your prize!
The colorful pieces in this room are the works of folk artist Nellie Mae Rowe and they can be great way to engage your little ones at the museum. Rowe was a self-taught artist working in materials that kids can truly understand: crayon, colored pencil, and even bubble gum! She portrays creatures with features of different animals, houses, and people in a way that children of all ages can relate to. Her imagination was vibrant and untamed. In one drawing, whose title gives this exhibition its name, she drew herself in her bed at night with the creatures of her imagination swirling about her head.
A fun activity based on the works of Rowe would be to have your kids draw pictures of their dreams and creatures of their endless imaginations.

 

What’s Your Job at the High? June 21, 2014

Filed under: General,What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 6:39 pm
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I am proud to introduce to you a V.I.P in our world of art education, Deirdra Alexander! She is on the front lines of our Toddler Thursday program and you can often find her working with various school programs and leading art-making workshops.  She’s an absolute whiz in the world of exploring funky and fun art projects as well as being super kind, insightful, and dedicated.

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Q: How long have you worked at the High?

My first day working at the museum was during the opening of the new Renzo Piano expansion in 2005. It was a crazy and fun day with art making activities in the workshops downstairs, outside in the piazza, and even on the sidewalk on Peachtree Street. There were people everywhere.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

For our Toddler Thursday program I first walk through the museum and find a work of art to inspire an art making activity. I pick out a few points of interest from the work for an adult visitor to share with their young toddler, encouraging them to look deeper.  I decide on a project using a variety of art mediums — paint, clay, stamping, collage, and even recycled objects. I then choose the book that will be read to the toddlers throughout the day. I also work with preschool, elementary, and middle school students who take a docent led tour through the museum and participate in an art making activity. I especially like working in the Afterschool Program which provides ten weeks of art enrichment learning for 3rd through 5th graders who attend designated Atlanta Public Schools.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

That I don’t even think of it as work. When I was in first grade, the teacher asked us to go home and think about what kind of job we would want to do all day long and every day… a daunting thought for a five year old. The only thing I could see never getting tired of was making collages. We had this great big tray of stuff the teacher would set before us and the possibilities seemed endless. So basically I do have my dream job!

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

My favorite work to talk with students about is Untitled, by David Adamo. It is a tiny red door in our Contemporary Galleries. Young children amaze me with their detailed observations and curiosity about how to get inside the door and what could possibly be on the other side… pizza, a princess, all the candy in the world, even a family of elephants may be hiding behind that small red door.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

I also teach art at a local preschool. When I am at home I try to make some time for my own painting and also enjoy being outdoors. Otherwise I spend a lot of time reading and try to see an occasional foreign or art film.

 

Junk Sculptures June 4, 2014

Filed under: General,Projects at Home — erinkdougherty @ 7:43 pm
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You know that drawer that you have in your house that has somehow accumulated years of paperclips, pen caps, broken rubber bands, and discarded bottle caps? You know the one.  Instead of being ashamed, put it to good use!  These seemingly worthless objects are the perfect materials for craft time with your munchkins. Spend an afternoon making “junk sculptures!” Use a piece of cardboard for the base, bust out the tacky glue, and watch your little ones build imaginative pieces of 3-D art!

Some of our favorite pieces of art here at the High are made from found objects (things that others may have thrown away).  We have artworks made from chewing gum, bottle caps, broken mirrors, and cardboard.  Bring your family to get inspired in our Folk Art collection where you will meet artists that were just average people using everyday objects to make extraordinary things.

 

 

 
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