by Maria La Paz Topp
When I walked into the Nasher Museum last Sunday I was greeted by a sea of red, orange, green and purple shirts, sweeping across the floor in almost perfectly synchronized movements. A blond boy in a red shirt caught my eye. With his eyes fixed intently on the instructor’s dance moves and following his demonstration with great care and enthusiasm, you could tell he had been looking forward to this day for a while. Then, as I stood in close proximity to the scene of this artful dance performance, I felt a hand around my right leg. I looked down and saw a little girl in a cute blue dress and elaborate face paint on her cheeks and forehead, looking up at me with a grin. I let my glance wander through the Nasher Museum’s Great Hall one more time and thought to myself, “What a great way of introducing children of all ages to art!
As I wandered through the Nasher Museum that day, I witnessed many awesome opportunities for kids to have their first real encounters with art. Next to the Permanent Collection, a group called the Society of Creative Anachronism set up a table of medieval art in front of which a man and a woman were playing the flute and harp. The kids had the opportunity to create their own paintings, using the display of medieval art as a sort of model. I saw children and their parents milling through the “Escultura Social” exhibition, laughing at a video depicting a man impersonating a wolf, looking thoughtfully at a banner with political writings in pink graffiti, screaming fearfully at their encounter with a groaning puma in a dark room, and enjoying a little competition of who could suggest the most suitable colors for “eternal bliss” and “magic spell.” I had already walked through the exhibition currently at display at the Nasher many times before last Sunday, but it an entirely new experience to see the pieces of art through the eyes of a child. The next free Family Day at the Nasher Museum is May 17.