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Asher took part in his first art exhibition. I was thrilled to learn it would be held at the Arts House because it’s such a beautiful building, and so historically significant.

He painted a fish and called it ‘Fish in the Sea’. It took several lessons to finish this piece, and he was happy with the final outcome. There were times when he was starting to lose steam in the process, especially when doing the collage bits because he found it tedious to tear and stick the little pieces of paper. I like how it turned out though, and he’s happy with it too.

It was good to see all the other art pieces on display as well, and especially interesting to see how one theme was interpreted by people in so many different ways.

Art is one of the things that really makes Asher happy. I wonder how far he’ll take it :)

All of us with his art work

All of us with his art work

On the wall with other sea creature art works

On the wall with other sea creature art works

He likes art!

He liked the other art pieces he saw there too

Outside the Arts House & Ellery photobombing the pic

Outside the Arts House & Ellery photobombing the pic

Being boys

Being boys

Ellery so pleased that he could climb up on his own

Ellery so pleased that he could climb up on his own

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I was very inspired by an entry I read in An Accidental Homeschooling Mum.  Alicia had gone into an in-depth study of the impressionist artists.  I’d really like to try out her activities with the boys one day because I really like the work of the impressionists.  It always reminds me of the museums we went to in Chicago and Paris, in particular, the Musee d’Orsay.  I loved, loved, loved that museum.

In an attempt to do something similar with Asher, I decided to embark on an Andy Warhol project since the Artscience Museum was holding an exhibition on that famous pop artist (it ends on 12 Aug 2012).

It started with a search through the library catalogue to see what books looked appropriate for his age.  A lot of them were quite detailed and wordy, and probably better suited to older kids.  But I managed to pick up a few that he enjoyed.

Books we read

I also searched for some pictures on the internet and printed them at a shop because we don’t own a printer at home!  Asher was very happy with our gallery especially after he was more familiar with the names of the pictures.

Our Gallery

We then tried our hand at some Andy-ish art.  As mentioned above we did an art activity from My Art Book.  It involved using photographs, transparencies, construction paper and glue.  Really very simple, but an attractive result.

I had to first find some photos of the boys and had them printed at a photo printing shop (I need a printer!).  It was difficult to then find a photocopy shop willing to photocopy the pictures onto a transparenccy.  Many were too afraid to try even though the transparencies I bought stated they were safe for use with regular copiers.  I thought it very strange because I remember photocopying things onto transparencies when I was in school.  One very smart vendor said, “then go to the same shop you did it at!”  But, er, Uncle, I’ve been out of school for a long time…

It was a good lesson in perseverence because Asher tagged along to a few shops before we found on willing to take the risk.  He has now learnt the word ‘perseverence’.  Now, when he successfully does something he at first thought he couldn’t, he’d say proudly, “Mummy!  I persevered!”

Initially Asher was not too keen on our activity, but when he saw how the coloured paper transformed the look of the pictures he became enthusiastic.  He did all the colour choices and the positioning.  I only helped to hold everything in place while we glued them papers down.  He was very proud of his work and brought Jon to see it the minute he came home from work that day.  Unfortunately some parts got quite scratched.  I didn’t realise how fragile the transparency prints were.  Initially we were not careful and scratched off some parts of the prints.  But I suppose you could think of it lending some rawness and authenticity to the work!

Asher’s take on Warhol.  He calls the bottom right one ‘the green monster’ :)

I did the same project with Ellery two days later.  He’s too young to put everything in place properly, but he made all the colour choices for the different parts.

Ellery’s take.  I think the bottom right one looks quite scary!

A week later Asher did his version of the Campbell Soup cans.  I bought two cans of soup from the supermarket for him to handle.  We looked at the pictures in the gallery, then he embarked on his work.  The first time he just painted a big mess of colours which he eventually said was dinosaurs…hmm…  It was only on his second go that he focused more on painting Campbell Soup cans.  He was quite happy with his work, but I could see he was more thrilled by the first activity.

Asher’s Campbell Soup cans

The grand finale of our Andy Warhol Project was to go for the Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes of Fame exhibition at the Artscience Museum.  We headed there today after church.  I was very excited because this was the goal from the start of the project – to go for the exhibition with Asher able to appreciate some background of the artist and the art.  I was going to bring Ellery because he had also become familiar with  a few of the paintings, but he was napping so soundly and I didn’t want to let another weekend pass us by (we planned to go last week but couldn’t in the end).  Jon stayed with Ellery, so it was just Asher and me as we explored the Artscience Museum for the first time.

Here we come Andy!

Beautiful water lilies surrounding the museum

Pretty purple lily

I was adament about going to the museum on a weekend because that’s when they hold a special silkscreen printing workshop as part of the Children’s Season.  Asher did not really understand what silkscreen printing was from the books, partly because there were only brief descriptions of the process.  I wasn’t too sure of what it was either, so this was a good opportunity for us both.  He chose to do the silkscreen print on a t-shirt so I bought a plain white t-shirt from the gift shop for about $13 (they don’t allow you to bring your own t-shirt – I asked hehe).  The workshop is actually free if you do the printing on paper, but I thought it’d be more fun for him to wear his creation rather than just stick it on the wall, or in some corner to be forgotten.

Asher wrapped in a plastic apron listening to the explanation on silkscreen printing

Waiting for his turn

Pleased with the result

The exhibits were good.  There were many pictures we saw in books that we didn’t see there, and many pictures we saw there that we didn’t see in the books.  But it was exciting to spot those we recognised, and learn more about those we didn’t which we liked.  I appreciated how they had catered for the kids by putting some explanations in more kid-engaging language and at kid height.  There was also one part of the exhibition which showcased the paintings Andy Warhol did especially for children.  These were also placed lower so that children could have a better look at them.  There was another part which showed Asian artists’ take on Andy Warhol’s work which I thought was quite interesting.  For example, Jahan Loh did a series of paintings on luncheon meat :)  No photos allowed so I can’t show you any.

At the end of our excursion I asked Asher which were the parts he liked best and he said the silkscreening, and two works we had never seen or read about – silver clouds (an interactive work with silver pillow-shaped balloons filled with helium that floated around the room), and the endangered animals series (a series of ten paintings of endangered animals).

Little Andy

Asher (being a dinosaur) & I outside the museum

Changed to show Daddy his work

That brought an end to our Andy Warhol Project.  We came home to flip through the books to spot what we had seen in the museum, then it was off to bed for the boy.

Some of the paintings we saw at the museum

What next? :)

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