In Uptown Charlotte, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has kicked off their Family Day series. Three days each year, the museum opens its doors to welcome children to create art inspired by artists from their collection. Kids have the opportunity to make art, go on a scavenger hunt, and play bingo by finding works of art. Parents can view modern art in a variety of mediums such as sculpture, painting, drawings, furniture, and jewelry. On Family Days, admission is free for kids and $4.00 for adults making it’s a very reasonable family outing.
As you approach the corner of S. Tryon Street and Levine Avenue of the Arts in Uptown, look for the 17-foot whimsical bird-like creature with its wings open wide, welcoming everyone to the Bechtler Museum. Firebird has become Charlotte’s most iconic piece of outdoor sculpture. It’s a crowd pleaser – many people have taken its photograph or had their photograph taken while standing beside this fanciful sculpture.
The art activities are designed for children ages 5 and older. Located in different locations throughout the museum, staff members are stationed at each activity. Watching for arrivals, the staff immediately welcomes children entering their area. They provide instructions for each activity and show examples of the artist’s work via an iPad giving kids a starting point to begin their own artwork. The staff members are friendly and engaging with the kids, making this event truly special. Words of encouragement or a friendly check-in goes a long way in supporting children as they create art.
Bingo and Scavenger Hunt
Pick up a Bingo card and Family Activity Guide in the lobby which will entertain kids on the third and fourth levels of the museum. Instead of numbers, the bingo card is filled with small snippets of a larger piece of art. While walking around looking at the art, when kids find the small-cropped portion within artworks, then they mark off each piece on their card.
The Scavenger Hunt can be found within the Family Activity Guide. This activity is geared for older kids due to the amount of reading, writing, and abstract thinking required. For younger kids, a parent can read aloud for their child and openly discuss the questions and concepts with them.
Mark Your Calendar
If you missed this event, no need to fret there are 2 more Family Days in early 2014, February 1 and April 5. Grab your calendar and mark down the dates. It’s a must-do for families and the museum enjoys bringing the art world to children in the community. Here’s what’s planned:
- February 1, 2014 – An architect inspired day where kids will create an architectural sketch and design a blueprint. Inspiration for this event comes from the architect who designed the museum’s building, Mario Botta.
- April 5, 2014 – Kids will create dream catchers, geometric storybooks, and pictograph stamps.
I asked my ten-year-old daughter and her friend who attended the event this past Saturday, what they thought about their time at the Bechtler Museum. They responded with a very enthusiast, “very cool” and “so much fun.” The girls happily went from each activity, ready and willing to participate and get creative. Playing bingo, they were on a determined mission to find the pieces of art and they got bingo 4 different ways. We didn’t attempt the scavenger hunt, because hunger set in, so it was time to leave the museum for a snack. There is always next time, and we will certainly find our way back for another Family Day.
Simply log onto www.bechtler.org. Look under the Programs tab for Family Day information.