Art adventures: Arizona Museum for Youth

We’ve enjoyed several art exhibits recently at the Arizona Museum for Youth — featuring everything from Cactus League baseball to Japanese animation art.

Most recently, I headed out to explore “NASA Art: 50 Years of Exploration,” which is on exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth through Jan 23, 2011.

The traveling Smithsonian exhibit features works from NASA and the National Air and Space Museum collections — some illustrative, others abstract.

Featured artists include Annie Leibowitz, Nam June, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, William Wegman and others. The exhibit’s 72 works span nearly five decades of creative enterprise.

In most cases, the Arizona Museum for Youth asks that these works not be photographed, so you’ll see just a few NASA-related photos below. Most of my photos are meant to capture the spirit of the museum’s ongoing offerings.

Turn right after entering the museum to explore this colorful play area

Several toddlers, preschoolers and parents were enjoying Artville during a recent afternoon

Artville is a cheery place full of hands-on activities and places to explore

Artville helps kids view both art and education as fun adventures

I left the gift shop with Beads of Courage bracelets for my daughters

Turn left after entering the museum and you'll enjoy the ArtZone

The museum is full of places to draw, read, play and explore

You'll encounter everything from aliens to astronauts crafted of beads

The museum also features the Beads of Courage program at Cardon Children's Medical Center

Watch the museum's calendar for kid-friendly art workshops and classes

Who doesn't love to play dress-up and dream of exploring outer space?

These two boxes hold magnetic images kids can use to create storyboards

The NASA exhibit has something fun for folks of all ages

You know firsthand, if you’ve explored the magnificent Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., that large museums housing huge collections can be overwhelming for young children.

The Arizona Museum for Youth, though plenty spacious, has all sorts of nooks and crannies that make it especially warm and inviting for families and children — and allows children the freedom to drive their own imaginations and busy bodies.

Museum exhibits foster the sort of open-ended play linked in so many studies to problem-solving, creativity, social skills and more. At the Arizona Museum for Youth, it’s your child’s own muse that matters most.

— Lynn

Note: The NASA exhibit is free with paid general admission to the Arizona Museum for Youth. Take a pen and notepad when you go because you’ll see lots of activities and projects you’ll want to remember and try once you get home. Click here to learn more about Beads of Courage.

Coming up: Lynn heads up the road to explore the diverse offerings of the Arizona Museum of Natural History

Photos: Lynn Trimble

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