“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso
Children are natural artists. Whilst not born with a brush or pencil in hand, children do possess an innate sense of curiosity and a need to put their hands on everything and explore from almost the moment they arrive earthside. Art is a medium with allows us to celebrate our individuality and express ourselves. As a parent I think it is important for my children to have lots of opportunity to access art, both through viewing others work and by doing it themselves.
Often other priorities complicate my ability to provide plentiful opportunities for my children to engage in art. I am making a conscious effort to set aside lots of time for us to do this at home as well as sourcing suitable places to visit that will inspire and expand our knowledge about art.
We often find ourselves in The Rocks but have never ventured into any of the galleries or art museums. These school holidays I added a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia – www.mca.com.au to our Kid Bucket List and was amazed by the kids reaction to the venue.
The MCA is situated right in Circular Quay, Sydney. It’s basically a landmark which I have been passing for a decade always telling myself I should pop in sometime. That day came with the whole family in tow.
We arrived at the 10.00 am opening time ready to explore. We signed in our bags and jackets and discovered that children can explore the gallery whilst completing a fantastic book called “Sketch” (available for download here). This little book guided us through the second floor and prompted both Master R and Miss N to stop and absorb the art work. We discussed their interpretation of the art works and what they think could have been added or changed if they were the artist behind the work.
About 2/3 of the way around the gallery I found that Master R’s attention was waning. Art shouldn’t be forced, so I reluctantly prompted him to go for a walk outside with T (I suspect he just wanted to get back to the soccer tables that are spread around the precinct in celebration of the World Cup). Miss N didn’t want to leave. I was fascinated to see how long her attention would last and am proud to say that she stopped at every art work and provided comment about was she was observing.
We stopped between each room so Miss N could complete the page in her book. Our smiggle pencils really got a good work out and were used to shade, fill and colour each page. Her favourite? She refused to decide telling me “you can’t choose between art Mama.”
The MCA is free to enter and explore. For a gold donation pick up a children’s sketch book to complete as you walk around.