In our quest to discover “What is Art?”, CCA visited some wonderful kid-friendly galleries you should know about. These galleries are in such close proximity and offer a wealth of exposure to a wide range of modern and contemporary artists. Along the way, our kids learned to direct their questions to the gallery owners, chose their favorite pieces, made sketches as well as articulate their “likes” and “dislikes” using the 7 elements of art to justify their choices.
First stop was Isabel Bacher Gallery on 78th @ Madison, were we met our most enthusiastic and gracious gallery owner, Audrey. I would highly recommend a visit here to see a wide range of prints and printing processes of the masters like Toulouse Lautrec, Miro, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Dubuffet and Warhol. They are simple enough to sketch and bring colored pencils for Miro!
Just next door are the gorgeous Lady M Cakes. What a great introduction to food painters and builders such as Claes Oldenburg and Wayne Thiebaud!
1018 Madison Avenue galleries are great because you can hit a few all in one building… and see gorgeous desserts at the front door! Our kids were able to discover that they liked works from Jean Arp, Gorky, Chamberlain (they were able to relate it to the piece we have seen at the Met!) as well as a new artist to us: Jeane Plensa who uses words & symbols as art in a marvelous 3D form. Mark Swanson’s bejeweled antlers were hard not to touch… but our 3 feet rule helps when reaching outJ
Saving the best for last was the Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery on 79th street. Cecelia greeted us at the door and showed us works by Kwang Young Chun (a fave for the kids), Murakami, Calder and even a surprising Yayoi Kusama. They were extremely inviting and wonderful with the kids.
All in all, it was an eye-opening first day of the semester, lending an opportunity for me as a teacher to know where to drive our curriculum down the road, to revisit and demystify these artist’s works & processes, while promoting further understanding of the art world around us. As always, check first to make sure the works are child-appropriate, as they consistently change.
Join us on our tours, and discover for yourself how rewarding it is to see and make art from the contemporary greats!