One of my favorite (free!) ways to experience art and expose my kids to different artists and mediums is to check out current offerings all around us.
Formal Art Crawls
Many towns (especially the awesome ones) organize a monthly art crawl or stumble. Usually the participating galleries open their doors and provide light refreshments as patrons breeze through their collections. In East Nashville there’s the Art Stumble and in Nashville the Downtown art crawl… just google ‘art crawl [your location]’ and you’ll find out when they are.
WINNER’S HINT: With kids, we try to eat before we go (otherwise my kids have eyes for nothing but the free snacks). To be polite, we set general guidelines like one snack per gallery. We also try to go at the beginning of the official times and only explore for an hour or two. Any longer and the kids start to crumble.
In Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, Washington, a group of galleries got together and printed a map to let tourists visit them all between ferry rides! We grabbed the brochure and started walking. (Of course you don’t need a printed map to explore galleries in a new town – just search for ‘art gallery’ in google maps in your locale and start hopping!)
WINNER’S TIP: Before we entered each gallery, I pulled up its website on my phone and scrolled through some of the images of pieces we might find inside. The kids each found one or two that they would look for, turning the whole Hop into a scavenger hunt, similar to the postcard idea I talked about in my How to Teach Art post – publishing soon!
Choose Your Own Adventure
If street art is more your flavor, go for a mural or sculpture hunt around your town! Here are some great search terms:
- street art
- public art
- murals near me
- walking tour of street art/mural/public spaces
Here are some awesome walking tours to find art around us! What are your favorites?
- Banksy does New Orleans
- San Francisco’s Mission District
- Philadelphia Mural Maps
- East Nashville Murals
- Find Street Art in Portland
- Seattle’s Iconic Murals & their Stories
- Montreal Murals
- While we’re talking about it, here are the HuffPost’s 19 best cities to find street art!
WINNER’S HINT: Outdoor art is the best for kids! No need to worry about bumping into that fragile piece on a pedestal or touching that priceless painting! Many sculptures are made for climbing – or at least touching (unlike most pieces in galleries and museums). Pack a picnic lunch and your hiking packs and enjoy your urban art exploration!
Now, Take Off!