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The Art Day School Phenomenon (Or What is Art Day School and Why Is It So Much Fun?)

By Susan Link, Art Day School Coordinator

img_23642In the Rochester area, there are daycare programs, camps and children’s programs galore, but the Memorial Art Gallery’s unique Art Day School program offers a creative way to let your children explore art in projects different from those they find at ‘regular school.’

Each week of Art Day School combines children with professionally-trained teaching artists and experienced art educators and coordinators within our studio-classrooms here at the Gallery.

img_22971We group kids of similar ages (7 to 9 and 10 to 13) in two rooms and provide materials, creative challenges, high-quality instruction in effective lessons, laughter, snack and recreation.

The kids who come to Art Day School are great! They all have different interests and come from different backgrounds (some live in the city, others on farms, still others are from out-of-town and visiting relatives.)

ads-summer-0741 This unique art education experience allows children to explore art in a new way. Art materials, processes and techniques are presented to students that may not traditionally be available to them in school, combined with large blocks of time (much longer than what schools may set aside for art.)

img_23731 The whole day is devoted to looking at and making works of art (with regular breaks to socialize at snack and meal times.) We generally bring these energetic kids outside to play on the field right after lunch, but before the next three hour art experience.

I have worked at the Memorial Art Gallery for years and often forget how lucky I am that I get to look at original works of art from all periods of history. Works of art shown to me in art history classes and textbooks- things I have studied about, read about, and yet rarely get to explore, are right here on display. coffins1

Children do not need to be artists to appreciate the unique process and materials of making art. Museum staff and professional artist teachers encourage students to play and explore using the Memorial Art Gallery‘s resources and materials, to have respect for one another, and feel comfortable and safe as they expand their skills and confidence.

img_2304-16-06-28These are new opportunities for kids to get educated, to do some deep thinking, reflecting and interacting with other kids in a new way. This is a great place for future artists, scientists, technicians, and doctors-to-be. All these fields require us to use materials and processes creatively.

In Art Day School, kids get to dream bigger, work messier and use materials often used by professional artists. Through the study of art, kids learn to write, read, draw and use science in diverse ways.

img_22862And, Art Day School is always a lot of fun!

There are eight weeks of Art Day School available this summer. View the Art Day School Registration Form here or call 585-276-8959.

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