This week we had the chance to enjoy a complimentary visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Art Splash, the museum's summer event of creative play for families. This ten week long event runs until September 1, 2014. Each week has a different masterpiece featured with accompanying activities for kids and their parents. This week's theme was Art in the Garden featuring Claude Monet and his garden. Monet is one of my favorite artists and I was excited to see how the museum staff shared his art on a child-friendly level. It was very successful!
My son started at the Splash Studio with a painting craft based upon The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny by Monet. Starting with a blank piece of art paper, my son used a white pencil to draw a design of his choice on the blank paper. He then went to a paint station and used two different colors of watercolors to paint over the entire page, making the white pencil designs pop out. At another table he was able to add his own footbridge and some lily pads and flowers with glue and tissue paper. Watercolor pencils were also available to add more designs. A simple activity, but it produced a great masterpiece that he could take home.
Next we all headed to a Family Gallery Tour of three French artworks, including the Monet painting. The Museum educator explained details of the art work in a great manner that was appropriate for the kids on the tour, which was geared to ages 6 to 10. There was also a tour for kids ages 3-5. Using an iPad to enhance the experience, the educator encourgaged discussion and questions from the kids on the tour.
Each week the theme and activities change, so ideally a family could visit every week of the summer and experience something completely new. We attended Art Splash last summer as well and this year's activities were completely different. I liked that we were in the main musuem and had the chance to go on a hunt, using a printed guide, to find ten Art Splash masterpieces. We found five on this visit. At each masterpiece was an activity to do, such as find different objects in the painting or sketch details from the armour on a boogie board. At the Staircase Group by Peale, another memorable painting at the museum, we were able to call a number on my phone and my son learned a bit more details about the painting, including that the ticket painted on the floor of the masterpiece was actually a ticket of admission to the painter's musuem, the first museum in Philadelphia!
Art Splash levels what is usually not a child-friendly place into a wonderful creative learning experience. From the child-sized lounge filled with building blocks and books to the cafeteria that has a tasty kids menu, the musuem has thought of everything to cater to families with young children and introducing them to our creative world. I'm always amazed at how much my son enjoys exploring the art, considering that he isn't allowed to touch anything!
Admission to the museum for kids ages 12 and younger is free, which is a nice feature. Admission to the musuem is Pay What You Wish on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 until 8:45 p.m. and on the first Sunday of every month. Regular adult admission is $20.
The schedule for the remainder of the summer is:
July 29–August 3: Mixed-Up Music
August 5–10: Mythological Mischief
August 12–17: Trip around the World
August 19–24: Medieval Worlds
August 26–September 1: Tea and Treasure
Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays until 8:45 p.m.
Thanks to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for providing complimentary adult admission for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and opinons expressed here are my honest thoughts and experience.