Art, Attempted

by cecimadden

On Sunday, Rachel and I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to participate in their Family Studio activity.  Family Studio is an awesome program where the museum hosts free family art activities on the first Sunday of the month.  Each event has a theme, and this Sunday was inspired by the new Van Gogh exhibit so it was all about painting flowers.  Rachel loves painting and loves flowers so I thought this would be just perfect for us.

Can I be honest?  It was a little intimidating.  It was really well attended, and luckily it was also well-staffed, but still, the amount of people there, and their talent, was kind of overwhelming.  It took Rachel a little while to warm up to the room. 

While I thought about how great it was for such a program to have high participation, I scanned the room and realized that most of the kids were probably children of artists.  Their parents’ artwork was super impressive and their own mini masterpieces were not far behind. (I really didn’t even know that the parents would be participating in the art making!)

Apart from feeling lucky to live in a city that values creativity and so on, I felt like we were a little out of our league.  I guess this is part of the enjoyment/challenge of introducing our children to activities that we’re not necessarily skilled at.  It was a test to both of our comfort zones.  Rachel studied her tablemates’ creations and was reluctant to make one of her own.  I encouraged her by doodling just like we do at home. I asked her to take a turn, but she didn’t take to it with the same enthusiasm that she usually does.

She was definitely engaged though.  She was observing everything and she really did want to keep pursuing what we were creating on our page, humble as it was. I think she enjoyed watching the bigger artists very much.  It made me think of being a little girl when my town’s high school fielded its first softball team.  I watched as many of their games as I could.  I never wanted to go out there and play with them, but I watched and cheered with dedication.

I think we’ll try attending again, maybe with friends Rachel’s age, maybe a few months from now.

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