Museum of Art Hoot and Holler Family Creation Lab
If you’re following this blog, you’re probably also learning more about me and my family. Here is a fun fact. I love exploring new places and learning new things. And yes, I take my kids everywhere I can because I try to be a good mom and give my children lots of opportunities to learn and grow. But to be honest, I use that as an opportunity to learn and grow myself. Or, simply put – as an excuse for myself to do all of these fun things, that I wouldn’t be able to do without my kids! For example, I couldn’t go to Apple store for their Kids’ Hour to learn how to operate a robot (and I really wanted to!). Same goes for the art class at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Hoot and Holler Family Creation Lab is for kids ages 6 to 10. I’ve been wanting to check it out since the moment I heard about it. Thank goodness, I have a 6-year-old to take me there. We signed up online, and were so excited when the time came.
We were welcomed by our teacher Samantha King – an artist and a very sweet young lady who led us through the whole process. We took our sketch pads and pencils and went into the galleries to get our inspiration for the art we were about to create. We stopped in front of the large painting – Radcliffe Bailey’s “Haitian postcard.” Samantha was asking interesting questions, getting the participants to analyze, notice small details, symbols, materials and techniques used. Everyone was encouraged to take notes and make sketches. We talked about the things the artist expressed in this painting, taking guesses and discussing different opinions. When everyone felt inspired enough for some creative art, we moved on to the next step – getting our hands dirty in the studio.
Samantha challenged the young artists to think about their art-to-be, and decide what it was that would be expressed on that canvas. Happy memories from the past seemed like a great theme. My son Lydian shared his favorite memories from before our move to Mississippi, when we lived in Maryland and spent long summer days on the beach. On our canvases, we both started sketching seashells, birds, plants and the wild ponies of Assateague Island. Then Samantha introduced the art supplies and mixed media we were going to incorporate in our work: oil pastels, acrylic paint, gel medium, tissue paper, buttons, feathers, decorative netting. Honestly, for the type of art we were creating, anything would work. If we had more time, we would go on a scavenger hunt outside to find more items to incorporate. Samantha explained that any textures or colors may be used. There are no rules to follow. Lydian was very inspired. I tried to make a suggestion and change a few minor details on his canvas, to which he replied: “But I’m the artist. If this is my vision for the painting, it cannot be wrong.” Good point, kid. Proceed.
We had a great time creating one-of-a-kind art. Painting in the temple of art made the whole process more meaningful, almost sacred. Sometimes it’s a little scary to start something new – whether it is an organizing project at home, decorating your living room, or just starting a simple painting. It isn’t just the grownups that struggle with that first step. A week ago, my daughter wanted to draw a sheep. She tried, and she failed. I showed her an easy way to do it. And she mastered it and became a sheep-illustrating expert! Sometimes it takes just a little encouragement, just a little push to open one’s potential and help develop a new skill. My son and I certainly felt more confident with the guidance of a professional artist, and were so excited to take home our colorful creations. My son proudly shared his canvas at school during his show and tell. We both look forward to many more art classes at The Mississippi Museum of Art and encourage everyone else to join the fun and unleash your creativity.
Know & Go
When: Once a month
Where: Mississippi Museum of Art Studio
380 S Lamar St., Jackson MS 39201
Cost: $10 per child, registration required
Contact: McKenzie Drake firstname.lastname@example.org
May 18 2-3:30 p.m.
Families with children ages 6-10 are led by a Museum educator in an art project inspired by a different artist each month. Families are guided in conversations around works by the selected artist followed by related studio projects in the classroom. Families will not only leave with an artwork, but will learn techniques they can repeat and expand on at home.