June 26, 2007

Museum offers free summer programs for children

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is turning summertime restlessness into creative energy during its "Completely Free Summer Programs."

The programs turn the museum interactive as children ages 7 through 14 are invited to focus on museum exhibits as launching pads for their own projects.

"I try to get a mix of programs that involve museum exhibits," said Robert DeHoet, the museum's education director. "Appreciation is the most important thing. If you produce art because you appreciate what you see, that is a high form of appreciation. We try to have some experiences during the programs that are about the finished art. We also try to reproduce art and learn about where it starts. That's the best way to understand."

The SIUC childcare program Rainbow's End is the lead participant this summer. Pre-registration is required for all other participants to ensure there will be adequate materials. A week's notice is preferred but three days before the program is accepted. Register by calling 618/453-5388. Programs run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the University Museum.

A descriptive list of activities follows:

Wednesday, July 11 – Flip Books

Flip books are an early form of animation. Participants will draw a series of pictures on pages of stacked paper, then flip through the pages at high speed to reveal the animation of the figures. "Sometimes you don't get quite what you expect," DeHoet said. "No matter how simple they are – it's magical."

Wednesday, July 18 – New Art from Old

In this program, students will use images of art from the museum in their own ways to create new pieces of art. For example, a student could take an image from a painting and put it in a different context or with a different background, or could over-wash it with different colors, repeat the image in a pattern, fragment the image, combine it with other images – the imagination is the limit. DeHoet said students will tour the museum and then use images of what they have seen for their projects.

Wednesday, July 25 – Kites and Kite Tails

Kites are all about design, DeHoet said – basic elements of color and style. Students will consider how different artistic designs, patterns and colors will look and fit into the available space of a kite. Weather permitting, they'll have the chance to see if their creations can get off the ground