On the weekend, we took the kids to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra to see the ‘Renaissance’ exhibition. They have a wonderful ‘family room’ attached to the exhibition where children and their carers can explore a range of experiences relating to Renaissance art. The children could dress up in amazing clothes just like the ones in the paintings, draw themselves while looking in a mirror, and make buildings to go in a Renaissance city.
My kids spent two hours in there and still were reluctant to leave. The gallery staff have created an amazing facility that makes art accessible and fun for children.
I really believe that the more familiar children become with something, the more they can grow to appreciate and take enjoyment in it. Unlike ‘Disney’ type images, real art often requires children to think about what they are seeing – how does it make them feel, what is the artist trying to say, what details can we see in the picture etc. In the end, it is a more satisfying and memorable experience.
Also, the things they are learning:- to look carefully, to imagine another persons viewpoint and to approach new things with an open mind, are skills that they can use in all areas of their lives.
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