As a lover of art and art history, I’ve long been a fan of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. As a child I spent many years attending weekly art classes at the IMA and came to know the museum well, then later watched it get a facelift. It is amazing that such a wonderful museum exists in our community, the IMA also boasts a 100-acre outdoor art space adjacent to the museum that is also open to visitors without charge. Now, I realize I may have lost you at the idea of going to an art museum with your children – especially your young children, but I encourage you to give the IMA another shot, as it is quite kid friendly!
The IMA strives to appeal to art lovers of all ages with their diverse programming and classes, family tours, interactive aspects of the museum – such at the “Hold It!” hands on cart (2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month) and the African Activity Art Space (floor 3), new Art Packs and free Family Guide and Search & Find Game available at the Welcome Desk. But the Star Studio is always the highlight of my children’s visit.
My children immediately gravitate to the 7-foot Lite Bright that is even I want to play with. The life size version of the tabletop toy promotes creativity and exploration of light and color through manipulation of colored pegs
The next stop is often the block area where children are encouraged to become engineers, donning construction hats, to create structures with natural and colored foam shapes and blocks. iPads are near by, as well, for children to create their own Robert Indiana inspired “Autoportrait”.
There are two open-ended art areas that are one each side of the room. Each table contains a variety of materials to introduce the basic elements of art (e.g. line, shape, color, texture, and space). Materials change daily, but we’ve seen twine and string, many different colors of tape, different papers, pipe cleaners, and feathers, as an example. Children are able to take their creations home or place them on display to take home. Older children are encouraged to use the works of art on display at the IMA for inspiration.
The Star Studio is home to the very popular Wee Wednesdays for children ages 2-5. Wee Wednesday tickets sell out very quickly, several months in advance, so be sure to watch the IMA website for open registration dates. The Star Studio is also where the weekend Make & Take activities take place from 1-4 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Next time you venture down to the Indianapolis Museum of Art consider bringing your young children along, because there really is something for everyone at the IMA.
4000 Michigan Road