AIPAD 2015

Posted by on Apr 18, 2015 in News, Seeing, Slider | 0 comments

This past Friday fridgeARTS stopped by The AIPAD Photography Show, New York. The show at the Park Avenue Armory opened to the public on April 16 and will run through Sunday, April 19, is in its 35th year. With eighty-nine photography galleries from around the world there are thousands of artworks to see, ranging from 19th century daguerreotypes, to 20th century gelatin silver prints, and 21st century mixed media works and digital prints. If you are looking for something to do this weekend and enjoy photography as much as us, we highly recommend checking out AIPAD 2015. (There were a number of kids there with their parents after school and preschool let out on Friday afternoon.) Below are a few of the many pieces that caught our eye. To find out more about the artists and their work please click on their name and gallery. Gregory Scott, Van Gogh’s Bedroom, 2015, pigment print, oil on panel, and HD video, Catherine Edelman Gallery   Images: All images © the artists and their...

Read More

Vincent Van Dough, Cookie Monster, and the Museum of Modern Cookie

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in News, Slider | 0 comments

These days it isn’t uncommon to find celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z posing with Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Katy Perry with Grant Wood’s American Gothic. However, on February 13 in the lead up to the release of his first TV special, another celebrity hungry for culture took a whirlwind museum tour around New York City. He took selfies with iconic artworks and was even gifted with a lifetime membership to MoMA. The Cookie Thief starring Cookie Monster with guest star Rachel Dratch, of Saturday Night Live fame, premiered on February 16 on PBS KIDS. His #CookieArtTour included stops at the Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. This was not Cookie Monster’s first trip to a museum. In 1983 he and his Sesame Street friends accidentally got locked in the Metropolitan Museum of Art after hours when Big Bird wandered off at closing time. That special titled, Don’t Eat the Pictures, isn’t available for purchase from Sesame Workshop but copies can be found online from sites like and Cookie Monster started the #CookieArtTour at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Guggenheim Museum in New York, which he thought looked like a giant cookie jar. Showing some self-restraint while looking at a Cézanne still life he tweeted, “Me see yummy fruits and veggies in dis Cézanne!!! Me try so hard not to eat. Me no want to make @Guggenheim angry.” Later in the day he stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There Cookie Monster and a sphinx of Hatshepsut had a staring contest and he contemplated if it would be possible to make cookies as big as Emanuel Leutze’s 149 inch by 255 inch painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware. The final stop in the #CookieArtTour was the Museum of Modern Art. After seeing paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Rousseau he had a brief snack, a cookie, of course. This one was shaped like an artist’s palate and made especially for Cookie Monster by The Modern’s executive pastry chef, Jiho Kim. In his new special The Cookie Thief, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Chris visit the new museum that has opened on Sesame Street, the Museum of Modern Cookie. All of the artworks are cookie themed by famous cookie artists like Leonardo da Crunchy, Pablo Picookie, Vincent Van Dough, and Edvard Munch. The visit goes well until some of the artwork goes missing. When accused of stealing the art by a museum guard, played by Rachel Dratch, Cookie Monster says, “Me not steal painting, might take a nibble.” Elmo, Chris, and Cookie Monster are thrown out of the Museum of Modern Cookie. Did he steal the art? Was he framed? Will...

Read More

Not All Artists Use Brushes: Finger painting for the fun of it

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in Creating, Slider | 0 comments

I love finger painting! It’s a fun, colorful, tactile way to create. As an educator and a parent, nothing can compare to witnessing the joy and surprise on children’s faces as they use their senses to create. Finger paint has a pleasant aroma, an interesting feel, the ability to mix an infinite number of colors, and great squishy sounds. It even tastes good if the paint is pudding.  Shaving cream is another alternative to paint. When my daughter was little, after eating spaghetti, I’d place some shaving cream in the tray of her highchair and let her finger paint the mess away.   Prepare Your Workspace – Cover the work area with a dollar store plastic tablecloth. It’s big and waterproof. – Use a finger paint tray to contain the mess – a jelly roll pan works great. Line it with the paper. – For the palette use a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners or glue 6 cupcake liners onto a piece of cardboard.   Three cups for the three primary colors and the other three cups are for mixing secondary colors (orange, green, violet)   Gather Up Your Materials – Finger paints in primary colors (red, yellow, blue or cyan, magenta, yellow) The latter colors blend better but you will need to make your own finger paints to get the cyan and magenta. – Paper (finger paint paper or freezer paper) – Damp paper towels to clean fingers – this is a must – especially for the sensory challenged child or adult.   Tools – Fingers (required) – Plastic fork, knife, comb (optional) – A smock (Don’t forget this! An over-sized t-shirt is best – it covers everything and the sleeves are the right length.)   THE SCIENCE PART OF ART Place a small dollop of paint in the muffin tin. Less is best and it’s easy to refill if needed. Too much and you make a huge mess. Mix some red and yellow and see what happens. Wipe fingers on the paper towel. Mix some yellow and blue and see what happens. Wipe fingers on the paper towel. Mix some blue and red and see what happens. Wipe fingers on the paper towel.   LET THE CREATIVITY BEGIN! There are no rules – except paint goes on the paper in the tray. One finger at a time – that works. Paint on all fingers – that works, too. Mixing paint in the cupcake pan is perfectly acceptable. Blending colors on the paper – keep that creativity going! Explore lines, shapes, color, texture (the comb, fork and knife are great tools to achieve this), pattern and space. Experiment with fingerprints – notice the whorls of skin that make each of us...

Read More

Museum Memories #AskACurator

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in News, Slider | 0 comments

Imagine if you could walk up the steps to a museum, through the galleries, past the exhibits and display cases, and into the offices and store rooms and ask the curators anything about the collection, their career, or whatever tickled your fancy. Yesterday the public had that collective opportunity to virtually meet and question hundreds of curators around the world via Twitter. #AskACurator was started in 2010 by Jim Richardson, founder of Sumo Design in England, and since then it has turned into an annual event. The past few years the event has been organized by Mar Dixon, who founded a number of events for museum professionals and teens including MuseoMixUK, MuseumCamp, Teens in Museums, and CultureThemes. This year #AskACurator hit record levels with 721 museums from 43 countries. England and the United States had the most institutions participating with a combined total of 339. The day began in New Zealand and Australia and worked its way around the world faster than Magellan could have ever imagined. Countries as far flung as the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Colombia, and Qatar participated in the event. Curators took over museum’s Twitter accounts or responded from their own in shifts throughout the event. Anyone with a Twitter account could query the curators by using the #AskACurator hashtag for general questions to any curator and by including the museum’s Twitter handle for more direct questions. So many people took part that the #AskACurator hashtag was trending in both the United States and England and between 4-5PM GMT (11-12 EDT) there were over 36,500 tweets and the event still had quite a few hours left to go.  Next year #AskACurator day will take place on September 16. fridgeARTS, took part for the first time this year and we asked a lot of questions. Most museums have established museum education departments and programming for kids, but we wanted to know about when the curators were kids themselves. Out of all the questions we tweeted the one that sparked the most response was: What is your earliest museum memory? Thank you to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for making and tweeting the above graphic of our question.   Below are a few of our favorite replies.   Johanna Mizgala – @lucediversa Climbed into display when I was 5. Instead of anger, curator explained objects & their care. Was hooked 4 life.   Lancashire Museums – @LMuseums Visiting Gray Art Gallery, Hartlepool, aged 6 to see the dinosaur my class had made from cardboard and spray paint   Hammer Museum – @hammer_museum A childhood visit to @MOCAlosangeles from rural east San Diego county and seeing a Doug Wheeler installation. I’m sure I went to a museum before...

Read More

Every Picture Tells a Story: Let’s start the conversation!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Seeing, Slider | 0 comments

What an interesting painting! What do you see? Taking a child to a museum or looking at art can be an extraordinary way to encourage not only an appreciation of the arts, but to strengthen powers of observation, build language skills, enhance vocabulary, and encourage discovery and problem solving. It’s amazing how perceptive and curious young children are about art. While visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I was in awe of a class of nursery school kids, probably 3 years old, with their teacher sitting in front of Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch. Imagine my delight watching the children and teacher having a conversation about what they saw. Even if I didn’t understand the language spoken, it was obvious that each child was engaged in the activity. They were mesmerized and eager to add their ideas! The fact that figures in the painting were unclothed didn’t seem to matter. As an American art teacher, who taught in an elementary school where some parents asked the principal to remove art books that contained nudes from the school library, I was enchanted by the choice of the painting. An art museum can be overwhelming, with crowds of people, guards, sights, sounds, endless galleries of paintings, sculpture, ART. You can make it friendly and fun. Less is best, pick a section or gallery and focus on one or two artworks on your visit. Can’t get to a museum? Use the vast resources of the Internet (every art museum has a website) to find a piece of art to appreciate. Check out the art books at the public library. Here’s where it becomes fun. Start the conversation. Find an interesting painting that you like or one that your child is drawn to. Ask a few leading questions. WHO is in the picture? WHERE are they? WHAT is going on? WHY are they doing that? WHEN does it take place? Really look at the image – is it day or night? How can you tell? Check out the clothing, it’s a great clue to when the action takes place. HOW does it make you feel? Check out the colors, shapes, lines, textures, values (light and dark) and the use of space. Are objects near or far? HOW did the artist show this? The list is endless and so is the conversation. One last bit of advice – let this be child-centered. Read the cues and know when it’s time to move on. To get you started here is a selection of artworks that tell a story.   The Harvesters Pieter Bruegel the Elder Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   The Boating Party Mary Cassatt National Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC   Old Man...

Read More

Bedtime Stories for Artsy Kids

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Books, Slider | 0 comments

Someone once said so many books, so little time.  These timeless books are well worth becoming part of your child’s bedtime ritual.  Harold and the Purple Crayon and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler have been entertaining kids for decades and are already beloved classics.  Newer books such as the creative The Day the Crayons Quit has already proved popular and earned its place on the New York Times best seller list. Below are of some of fridgeARTS favorite art bedtime stories.  A few may be out of print, but are worth the trip to your local library or second-hand bookshop.   In the comments below, please share your favorite art books for kids.     Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson This classic art bedtime story originally published in 1955 follows Harold and his purple crayon as he goes on a walk. Everything he draws becomes real from the pies, to the monster, and the ocean. The story winds down with Harold searching for his own window and upon finding it draws himself into bed. Inspired, as a child, by Harold’s creations I took a green (not purple, my favorite color) crayon and added my own doodles to the pages.   Rembrandt Takes a Walk by Mark Strand illustrated by Red Grooms Tom goes to stay with his rich art-collecting uncle. The walls are full of amazing paintings by masters such as Cézanne and Rembrandt, yet the fridge is bare. While hunting for something to eat he reaches into a Cézanne still-life grabs a few apples and takes a bite out of one.  Unfortunately, he is unable to return the rest of the fruit to the painting as Cézanne painted it.  Rembrandt hanging in a nearby self-portrait offers to help in exchange for a tour of the town.  Keep an eye out for Tom’s uncle’s tie.   Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch by Nancy Willad illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon If you are fan of the fantastical creatures in Bosch’s work, notably The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ll love this book. The artist’s creatures come to life and wreak havoc in his house and upset his housekeeper. Hieronymus, however, is unfazed by the chaos.   Art by Patrick McDonnell This great book has a young boy named Art who makes art from zigs and zags to the curliest cue. The use of bright colors really make the illustrations come to life. When I read it to a friend’s two-year-old recently she started pulling toys that matched the shapes and colors of the illustrations.     The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds Vashti thinks she can’t draw, but a bit of encouragement from her...

Read More