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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Storm King Art Center, NY

This past weekend I got to spend a little time with some of my favorite boys- my hubby, son, and 6 year old nephew.  Being that the fall leaves were so gorgeous here in the NY/NJ area we decided to go for a little drive.  I have been wanting to check out the Storm King Art Center ( in NY and thought this might be a nice opportunity.  If you ever have a chance I highly recommend it.  It is a really fun sculpture museum with the added bonus that it provides your family a rare opportunity to interact with art in a unique way.  You can walk (or run as you can see below) amongst the art and feel part of the experience.  

Museums are not always a crowd-pleaser activity- especially one with abstract pieces.  Aside from getting little ones to appreciate the art, walking around quietly is usually an unattainable fantasy!  In comes Storm King! The Art Center has huge fields where you can get up close and personal with the "cool", "weird", and "awesome" structures.  I love the abstract sculptures because they provide families an opportunity to think about what they are looking at from their various perspectives- and the best thing about art is asserting that there are no "right" answers!  A great life lesson delivered in a natural way.  It was so fun to think about what the sculptures looked like and then read the title of the work.  So many times the title signaled that the artist had something completely different in mind than we had seen- but that is a strong lesson for our kids.  Helping our kids be risk takers in talking about their opinions provides important life long skills.  

My nephew and son had a blast running freely looking at the sculptures from all angles.  My husband and I each enjoyed looking at the art from our lens but also from the point of view of the kids.  I thought the sculpture below looked like the Phantom of the Opera Mask...until my nephew said it looked like a hanging pretzel.  It was kinda hard to argue with him. LOL  I can't wait to go back since we barely explored a third of the place!

Raise the FLF: I always like to find a way to tie in the experience at the end of a museum visit.  Otherwise there is a lot of walking around oohing and ahhing without really knowing what anyone was thinking other than "when can we go get lunch?!"  My husband and I have a tradition of sharing our favorite piece at the end of a visit and saying why.  Neither of us are art experts we just say what we liked and why.  No pressure but it is a nice check in.  When visiting with little ones in our family we like to share this idea. You can also turn it up a notch by getting inspired by the art you saw and taking an artistic turn of your own.  After Storm King Art Center you could draw your favorite sculpture or go home and use building blocks to make your own sculptures.  Don't forget to get the whole family involved and to take pictures.  You might also try what we did this particular afternoon.  After lunch, as the guys got a little fidgety I gave out some Crayola Model Magic and while we were unwinding we started to create our own structures based on what we saw.  I love using Model Magic because it is mess free and easily portable.  It is easy and entertaining for the kids AND adults! I really love us applying what we saw in a way that extends the days creativity, fun, and best of all lasting family memories. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great and fun learning experience for all. I never thought about it until your post, but post modern sculpture is a very accessible style for kids to interpret and experiment creating themselves because there aren't as many concrete rules. I love your model magic tie in and will be copying it this summer when I bring my daughter to Storm King. Thanks!