NEW BRITAIN – The Art Cart at the New Britain Museum of American Art is available every Saturday and offers children the chance to express themselves creatively while also learning about famous works on display.
The Art Cart is run by Hannah Kruger, coordinator of the Youth Studio and family programs at the museum at 56 Lexington St. It was established last summer and is now offered every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
“We have a different activity every Saturday based on a piece of artwork in the collection,” said Kruger. “Each time, participants will learn about a piece in the gallery while exploring with art. It is always family-friendly and something everyone can appreciate and take something away from. We used to do free activities down in our education studious but this is a more immersive experience.”
This Saturday, visitors to the Art Cart would be invited to emulate a collage piece by Radcliffe Bailey, created in 1968. The mixed-media artist, Kruger said, was often inspired by his personal and cultural history.
“Kids would begin by taking a piece of colored paper and drawing themselves or someone important from their history,” she said. “Then, they would create the rest of the piece with a variety of materials including felt, string, feathers, googly eyes, colored pencils and markers.”
Last week, Kruger said that 10 children participated in the Art Cart. Due to the program’s popularity, the museum will be introducing a second Art Cart starting Jan. 21 on community days and family days.
“The kids really enjoy it,” he said. “Last Saturday, we had kids making sculptures with materials including beads, wire and Popsicle sticks. Some of what they made was abstract and I remember another one was supposed to be an ‘underwater astronaut.’ Each kid has their own creative take on the projects. We get toddlers, older, middle school aged kids coming with their younger siblings and even a couple adults stopping by.”
Kruger said that kids take the crafts that they make at the Art Cart home with them after, but that Youth Studio classes are sometimes given the opportunity to display their work at the museum.
For more information on the New Britain Museum of American Art, visit nbmaa.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.