Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Art Adventures at the Museum

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Art Adventures! The time of year is here again when pint-size visitors descend on the Georgia Museum of Art for Art Adventures, the June and July day camp excursion for elementary school-age kids that promotes critical thinking skills through interactive gallery activities.

Every year, this award winning educational program picks a theme to inspire students on vacation to think about art in a different way. This year's theme is "Becoming an Art Museum Superhero" and takes off from the exhibition "Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise." When observing these textiles or pieces of pottery, the kids are asked by members of the museum's educational team to engage their other senses, not just sight.

At first, the kids are skeptical: We can't hear art! But then, to fine-tune their superhuman powers of hearing, the team leader plays different instrumental songs while the students observe the works of art. The kids are then asked which song they think fits better with a particular work. The goal is to have the participants think about all the unique ways art impacts their lives by explaining their choices. The Wonderwomen and Supermen in training receive tokens at the end of each of the five stations set up in the exhibition–one each for superhuman touch, sight, hearing time travel and mind reading.

When the group is done in the galleries, they head down to the Michael and Mary Erlanger Studio Classroom to create their own works of art with their newly sharpened superhero skills. As this year's activity is inspired by the Newcomb Pottery exhibition, kids paint ceramic plates with their own superhero emblems, even though recreating Batman's logo is inevitably a crowd favorite.

Regardless of theme, Art Adventures focuses on fostering critical thinking skills in a fun and creative manner. This summer's Art Adventures is booked to capacity, but if you're interested in learning more about this activity, other museum educational programs or reserving a spot for next year, visit