While strolling the campus of ASU Saturday afternoon, I decided to pop into the ASU Art Museum, where I promptly explored a table of $2 offerings (from posters to books) outside the museum’s gift shop.
Then, with just 20 minutes left on my parking meter, I took a left turn so I could take in an exhibit that ends Sept 3 — the 12th annual family exhibition titled “Words of Art: Selections from the ASU Art Museum Collection.”
It’s housed in a single room, making it the perfect taste of art when you’re pressed for time or eager to introduce your children to works of art without overwhelming them.
As I entered the exhibit, I spied a square work on the floor. It’s about the size of a card table and comprised of red painted objects, many looking like lacquered stones or pine cones. Some are carved with words like “pollute.”
The exhibit includes a piece of clothing, a page of historical text and other items that make for an eclectic mix. There’s even a low bright blue table with three chairs. On top sits a silver laptop with a screensaver featuring colors in motion.
“Words of Art” is plenty fun to simply look at. But older kids will enjoy reading short descriptions of works, themes or genres found on wall-mounted plaques highlighted by a yellow star. My favorite dealt with art and social justice.
Many of the items are exhibited at the height of a young child, making them feel more whimsical to adults and more accessible to kids. Time with such exhibits makes kids look at, and think about, objects differently.
If I had my way, we’d assign fewer worksheets and more art outings. The “Words of Art” exhibit is free, as is admission to the museum — which has lots of other areas featuring art that’s intriguing to young and old alike.
Two exhibitions end their run on Aug 27, giving you less than a week to enjoy them. They’re “Self-Referential: Art Looking at Art” and “By myself and with my friends….” The latter, which includes video, features six artists exploring things humans and animals have in common.
The ASU Art Museum is open Tues-Sat, though hours vary by day — so check details online before you go. No need to thank me when your child comes home and paints a pile of rocks red. But do give yourself a pat on the back.
Coming up: Review: “Oedipus for Kids”