Sunday, January 16, 2011

Field Trip!

Today seemed like a good day to take the kids on a field trip.  Sure, it was a very cold day and we could have easily just come straight home after church this morning and kept warm inside, but I felt the desire to get out and do something, see something, experience something. 

And, all the better if that something just happened to be FREE!

It's been a year since we've visited the Columbus Museum of Art.  The CMA has been under an extensive remodel for over a year and on our last visit, very little of the museum was open.  Luckily, what little was open was well worth the trip since there was a huge display of Dale Chilhuly's blown glass art for our enjoyment.  I love, LOVE, his work!

The CMA has free admission on Sundays and I was so glad to see such a large number of families take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to experience art in Ohio's capital city.  We even saw the grandfather of one of Owen's preschool classmates there.  The classmate was there too, but was unable to be located at the time.  Bummer.

The main level of the museum invites you directly into the...

And that it is.  There are several hands-on stations to create all sorts of art and get your creative juices flowing.  These little mini-projects served as a catalyst for some interesting conversations between my 3 kids and me.

Our first stop was the table where you create something out of extra-long twist ties.  Then they had several shelves on the wall that begged you to display your creation along with others left behind by museum patrons.

I made a flower!

Jenna made her signature peace sign.
 While the kids delved deeper into their twist tie art, I took in some of the beautiful display in the hall, such as this stunning blown glass apple. 

There became a focus on food and art further into this area of the museum which is designed especially for children and families.  Past the blown glass apple, there were photos and paintings featuring apples.  There were some dry-erase type boards for you to answer this question:

"What can you do with an apple besides eat it?"

The answers left behind were humorous, such as "Throw it at your brother!"  or "Wait for it to rot."  Another person had written "Smoke it!"  Let's hope a child didn't leave that response.   

Further down, there was a wedding cake in a display case and it was all made from glass.  Next to it, there was a table with Post-it Notes and pencils and a board.  The question here said,

"What do you eat at a celebration?"

Some people posted "Wine" or "Hot Dogs" or "Cheese."

Owen very carefully wrote out these words, "Chocolate Cake."  Now that's my kind of celebration!

Still another station allowed the children to play with their food, so to speak.  I love those Doug and Melissa wooden puzzle toys.  Here were the sushi and pizza versions.  Nearby was a mini jukebox loaded with songs about food, such as "Toast" and "Peanut Butter Sandwich" and Weird Al Yankovich's "Eat it!"

Jenna likes her pizza with green peppers!

Evan tried his hand at Velcro chop sticks.
We finished up with the various displays in the hall of the Center for Creativity and moved into the Wonder Room.  This very cool area had just about enough room for the kids to blow off some steam and move around a little.  Owen crouched down by this sculpture and then soon realized it kind of has a scary look on its face.  He suddenly didn't like it anymore.

Jenna had fun making faces on this metal box with kitchen tools that had magnets attached to the back.  The eyes on this robot-looking face are made from stove burner pans, the nose is a tart pan and the mouth is a bread loaf pan.  You can't see them here, but the ears were metal cabinet door handles. 

Evan and Jenna spent a great deal of time at the table with the Moon Sand.  This is fun stuff to work with, but I cringed a bit watching them work and knead the dough that I knew many, many germ-covered hands had touched before them.  Where's my hand sanitizer?

While the other two worked the dough, Owen discovered this neat little area that supplied many little "S hooks" and colorful, odd-shaped pieces to connect together.

The key was to balance it out so that one side didn't get weighed down.

Reach Owen!
Finally, we left the Center for Creativity and the Wonder Room and moved onto the Galleries on the second floor.  At last, I stumbled upon what I believed to be the only Dale Chihuly currently in the building.

The kids grew a bit quiet when we entered into the area with all of the sculptures.  I was looking for a teachable moment and drew their attention to the fact that sculptures can be made out of many things, such as wood, marble, bronze, clay...

"Oh, look guys, it's Adam and Eve!" I pointed out.  My kids know the story well.

Jenna moves in for a closer look.  "Eww, gross!"  Okay, so they don't depict it exactly like that in their fun little Sunday School lesson pages.  Then, in an awkward voice, Evan asks, "Why did they have to make all of these statues of people who are naked?"  Funny, he has no problem with nakedness when he's getting ready to take a bath at night.  Can anyone say STREAKER?!?!

And on that note, we stumbled upon this strangely weird display of art.  Standing in the room, you would think there truly was a shirtless man standing there with his back to you.  This was so incredible life-like. 

And a bit creepy too.

As we moved in closer, you can examine the detail - hair for hair!

We were growing a bit weary and tired at this point.  We had been at the museum for two hours and there was still so much more to see, but we hadn't been home since we left for church in the morning and it was time to make our way to the exit door.

Along the way, we enjoyed lots of art like these:

I almost forgot to mention that in one of the rooms, with lots of stuffy, boring artwork, they were hosting a scavenger hunt.  There was a list of approximately 20 items you needed to find hidden in the paintings.  Almost like an "I Spy" kind of thing.  I helped Owen, but Evan and Jenna were on their own.  When we were walking out, I asked Owen what his favorite part of the museum was and he said, "I liked the room where we had to find things."  "Cool!" I thought.  Here I figured his favorite part would have been playing with twist ties or wooden sushi!

After another satisfying visit to the CMA, we drove out of the parking lot and enjoyed the outdoor art from the nearby Columbus College of Art and Design.  No matter how many times I see this, I always think it's so cool.

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