Today’s post comes from Isa Pengskul, class of 2019 and Art Center Student Docent.

Art came alive in the Loeb last Sunday during our bi-annual event, Family Day. We had invited families from all around to join us in art activities. The glass hallway that leads to the galleries was bustling as artists both young and old collaborated hand in hand to make masterpieces on either sides of the wall. Most older artists were “assistants” and were guided by the youngest. Some were spectators who marveled at the creations in passing. Others stayed longer to give guidance and encouragement.

This was the second time this academic year where the Art Center transformed itself into a studio of sorts. During the fall, Family Day was inspired by the fall colors from the Hudson River School paintings in our collection. This time around we took inspiration from people and places in the temporary exhibition American Stories. Activities included collaging landscapes from geometric shapes, drawing natural landscapes, making puppets, and portrait medallions.

Urban Landscape created on Family Day.

Urban Landscape created on Family Day.

The hottest activity (in my opinion) was collaging an urban landscape. This was inspired by a particular painting named Waterfront (1939) by Hyman Francis Criss. The painting transforms recognizable images of a dock and buildings into geometric cubes of vibrant colors. Our own landscape took this idea of reducing images to simple forms and colors. It turned out beautifully, and everyone enjoyed having an excuse to make art on the walls of the corridor.

Hyman Francis Criss American, 1901-1973 Waterfront, 1939 Oil on Canvas Purchase, Betsey Mudge Wilson, class of 1956, Memorial Fund 1974.18

Hyman Francis Criss, American, 1901-1973
Waterfront, 1939
Oil on Canvas. Purchase, Betsey Mudge Wilson, class of 1956, Memorial Fund 1974.18

On the other side, a more naturalistic landscape was competing for attention. Sprawled across the length of the wall, children and docents used markers and colored pencils to create a more naturalistic landscape. This was inspired by the other paintings in the exhibition that portray a more naturalistic view of landscapes such as Louis Remy Mignot’s A Winter View from Newburgh  (1856).

Louis Remy Mignot, American, 1831-1870 A Winter View from Newburgh, 1856 Oil on panel Gift of Matthew Vassar 1864.1.57

Louis Remy Mignot, American, 1831-1870
A Winter View from Newburgh, 1856
Oil on panel. Gift of Matthew Vassar
1864.1.57

In the atrium of the gallery children enjoyed making puppets and showing off their story-telling skills to eager listeners. The little puppet theater that we created was inspired by A Private Rehearsal by William H. Lippincott. Next to that, others created engravings of self portraits that could be worn as medallions or hung anywhere they wished.

William H. Lippincott American, 1849-1920 A Private Rehearsal, 1896 Oil on canvas Purchase 1896.1

William H. Lippincott, American, 1849-1920
A Private Rehearsal, 1896
Oil on canvas. Purchase. 1896.1

 

Puppet show on Family Day

Puppet show on Family Day

The fun filled event eventually ended late in the afternoon. As visitors walked out from the galleries, they marveled at what we had created together. Some even suggested that our work should be part of the permanent exhibit!

 

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