|A family shows off their works of art at Family Day|
On Saturday July 14, a family of three enters the foyer of the Georgia Museum of Art. Associate curator of education Sage Kincaid immediately greets them, giving them a gallery guide. Upon seeing the little girl’s interest, she squats down and directs the information directly to her. The little girl listens attentively, nodding from time to time with a serious finger on her mouth. When all is understood, the family thanks Kincaid, and the little girl rushes toward the steps up to the galleries.
These are some of the first visitors to Family Day – an event the museum hosts for the benefit of children and their families around Athens. July’s focus was the exhibition “Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection.” Families had free run of the galleries to explore and experience, then went down to the Michael and Mary Erlanger Studio Classroom to paint their own masterpieces on canvas. As always, there was a green-screen backdrop hung up and a volunteer photographer on hand to take pictures of families with their art. A piece of art from the exhibition will later be inserted into the background, and the photos are made available on the museum’s Flickr and Facebook pages for free use by the families.
Family Day is hosted monthly by the museum and is themed around a current exhibition or a focus within the permanent collection. Admission is always free and includes a hands-on art activity completed with the help of the education department staff and interns. These activities give children and parents alike the chance to put their own spin on an object related to what they’ve seen in the galleries and have included personalizing red paper lanterns, hanging tapestries, mandalas and oceans in jars. Participatory activities are also often included: there was a floor loom demonstration during “The Material of Craft”; a 3D printer in action for “The Science of Art”; and the “Mindfulness and Mandalas” Family Day featured a yoga class taught by the Athens business YogaSprouts. Using these tools and many more, the program has been nurturing community interactions since its inception more than 30 years ago, revealing the museum’s curatorial breadth, the indispensability of community sponsors and the rigor of the education department in maintaining a strong relationship between the museum and the community on a broad and individual level.
Local families can look forward to next month’s Family Day, “One Heart, One Way,” inspired by an exhibition of Russian fine and decorative arts from the Belosselsky-Belozersky Collection. Children will be able to learn about the objects before creating their own “full dress helmet inspired by those worn by Her Majesty’s Horse Guards in 19th-century Russia.” The event will take place on August 18 from 10 a.m. to noon, and you can check in on Facebook here.
Take a look below for the full list of dates and themes for future Family Day events.
August 18, 2018 – One Heart, One Way
September 8, 2018 – Portraits and Photography
October 20, 2018 – WWI Posters from Around the World
November 3, 2018 – Transforming Metal
December 1, 2018 – Geometric Holiday
January 12, 2019 – Russian Embroidery
February 9, 2019 – African American Artists
March 9, 2019 – Life, Love and Marriage Chests
April 13, 2019 – Maiolica Pottery
May 18, 2019 – Spring Landscapes
June 22, 2019 – The American West
July 20, 2019 – Color, Form and Light
Intern, Department of Communications