Family Programming at MASS MoCA: Fall 2012
Fall is the perfect season for children and families to explore MASS MoCA in North Adams together. Educational programming at the museum abounds, with the exhibition Curiosity and art-making at Kidspace, curriculum-based performances through Art Assembly, a Halloween-themed gallery quest, and the Muppet Music Extravaganza concert (All this within the restored campus of 19th-century factory buildings, making MASS MoCA the largest center for contemporary art in the country!).
Kidspace at MASS MoCA, a child-centered art gallery and hands-on studio, collaborates with professional artists to present exhibitions and educational experiences for children and families. Right now, Kidspace visitors can delve into a world of dinosaurs, superheroes, dragons, cowboys, and monsters at the newest exhibition, Curiosity. Chock-full of unexpected, outlandish, fantastic objects-turned-artworks that kids likely already have questions about, this exhibition instills a sense of wonder in visitors of all ages. Curiosity features nine internationally acclaimed artists, each of whom inspires viewers to indulge the urge to investigate.
For starters, Colin Boyd of Troy, NY, weaves elements of folklore, natural history, and the future into his large-scale sculptures of a mastodon and an elephant bird. Former comic-strip artist Dave DeVries renders children’s artworks into images with a striking realism. Ephraim & Sadie Hatfield of Adams, MA, re-imagine Renaissance cabinets of curiosity (which originally contained natural and human-made wonders collected by kings and queens). Kids can open drawers and doors of the cabinets to uncover mysterious specimens!
Curiosity also includes several LEGO sculptures by Nathan Sawaya (including the frozen Hans Solo from Star Wars), Muir Vidler’s photograph of grandparents with wild tattoos, Yoram Wolberger’s lifesize sculpture of a blue cowboy, and other treasures. In addition to viewing art, kids and families can also create their own at the Art Cabaret, Curiosity’s hands-on studio, which serves up inspiring art-making challenges for tactile learners. Kidspace is open from 11am-5pm every day except Tuesdays; art-making takes place Fridays through Sundays and during school holidays.
School groups are invited to attend Art Assembly performances throughout the academic year. These live events are educational, entertaining, and designed to adhere to the Massachusetts Learning Standards. Before the performance, teachers receive a curriculum guide chock full of pre- and post-performance activities to prepare their students for the experience. Activities might include writing exercise, movement games, instrument-making, readings on history, or group brainstorming projects. For more information about upcoming Art Assembly programming, or to reserve space at an upcoming performance, contact Courtney Parker, Assistant to the Manager of Performing Arts, at 413-664-4481 x8109.
In October, don your best Halloween costume and your thinking cap: it’s time to explore the museum at the gallery quest! At 11:30am on Sat., Oct. 20th, join MASS MoCA’s professional educational staff on a fun romp through the galleries… dressed as a ballerina (Or a ninja, or a bumble bee, or a ghost.)! Kids can show off their Halloween gear as they investigate the art on display, make projects related to what they see, and then enjoy a healthy snack.
In the afternoon, visitors can catch The Loser’s Lounge, a band that performs Muppets favorites at the Muppet Music Extravaganza on Sat., Oct. 20th , at 3pm. This all-star tribute band salutes Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of Jim Henson’s gang with a collection of songs from the television show, the movies, and the albums.
The area is beautiful, the art is exciting, and MASS MoCA’s staff is eager to make it all accessible to you and your family. Grab your brood and come visit the Berkshires! MASS MoCA is located at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams, MA. For more information visit www.massmoca.org or call 413-662-2111.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily is a summa cum laude Connecticut College graduate with a double major in Human Development and Dance. Emily has also worked as the Tin Man Performing Arts Fellow at MASS MoCA and is currently the Marketing Coordinator. Emily loves dessert, ballet, and her cat, Scooter.