Elizabeth is a Membership Clerk at Do Space
While STEM education is definitely important (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), I prefer the model that promotes STEAM education (that’s all of the above, plus an “A” for “Art”). While your kids are at home and schools are closed, it will definitely be tricky to try to fit in everything they need to learn. However, I strongly encourage making some time for art at least once a week. Whether you want to explore museum collections and works of art from home, or create your own works of art, we have resources for you!
If you want some history with your art, check out this video from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The museum’s director walks you through their “Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt” exhibition, which includes pottery, statues, a replica of Nefertari’s tomb, and more.
For a deep-dive on one particular artist, try Google Arts & Culture’s Frida Kahlo exhibit, put together in collaboration with over 30 museums. The exhibit includes a biography of Kahlo that explains how many of her works were inspired by her life, in-depth analyses of particular pieces, and videos and editorials about Kahlo’s ongoing impact and significance. (Google Arts & Culture is, in general, a great resource for observing art from home, with access to collections from over 500 museums around the world.)
For something closer to a true museum experience, check out The Frick Collection’s page for their “Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture” exhibit. You can watch lecture videos about the artist and the collection, click on each individual object or work of art that was on display for close-ups and more information, take a guided audio tour, or “move” through the rooms of the exhibit using panoramic photos and your computer keys (or touchscreen phone).
To explore individual works of art, try Paris Musees’ Les Collections. The website is a collection of high-resolution digital copies of more than 100,000 works of art from 14 different museums in Paris, made available to the public for free. A good at-home art lesson might include looking at works by a particular artist or on a particular theme and trying to create your own work inspired by what you saw.
If looking at all this art inspires you to make art, there are sites to help with that as well! The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has an app specifically for kids’ art education. If you have a device that can access the App Store, you can download the NGAkids Art Zone app, which contains eight interactive art activities and a sketchbook section for free-hand drawing. (The app is suitable for all ages, but it is specifically designed for ages 9 to 11.)
For physical (non-digital) art work, check out these YouTube videos by Tabitha Harper! Harper is the owner of McHarper Manor, a DIY art studio in Milford, Ohio, and she’s putting out a series of YouTube videos to help kids to work on art projects at home during this time of social distancing. Each video has complete instructions and a list of needed materials.
If full-on art projects are a little above your skill level (or require materials to which you don’t have access), you can always doodle along with popular children’s author Mo Willems on the Kennedy Center’s website!
Hopefully, at least one of these links has left you feeling inspired and ready to go create some art. (If you do, feel free to share it with us in the comments or on our social media!)