We visited the National Gallery of Victoria over the weekend and had a great morning exploring art in Australia. I love bringing my kids to art museums (yes, I have a background in visual art.) Claire has been visiting them since birth. The gallery was celebrating its 150th birthday, debuting a new children’s area and had lots of crafting activities for kids.
After having a conversation with a docent about the layout of the museum, the activities included, Americans “not getting it”(she thought I was Canadian and I went with it, but I really wish I remembered what she said – I was too busy worrying about when I should tell her I was, indeed, American) we jumped right in. While the children’s area was great and extremely interactive I’ve always felt that my kids get more out of exploring the actual artwork in less crowded galleries, especially the contemporary ones. Colin had a true affinity towards a glowing ladder to nowhere while Claire preferred a pink Rothko and historic etchings of Australian wildlife. The museum was a perfect size to get a taste of art while the little ones tag along.
The gallery also commissioned artists to create a work of art on the streets outside based on a piece of art from the museum collection. This was a lot of fun. From tracing stencils with mud (loved this and it could be an excellent kids activity, albeit messy one) to playing music and sculpting sand we had a great time witnessing the creations and also anticipating what would come next.