The LSU Museum of Art proves you can start your art journey at any age with the new Toddler Thursday art program, which embraces the creativity of young minds.
Children ages 5 and under are encouraged to come to the museum with their caregivers to enjoy an art lesson on the first Thursday of every month. The first Children’s Thursday, which began on September 1, was entirely dedicated to portraits and allowed students to draw their likenesses. Upcoming editions of the program will cover topics such as abstract and landscape art.
Museum educator and community programs manager Brandon W. Lewis says the idea for the program came from Michelle Schulte, the museum’s curator and director of community programs, who saw a similar program at another museum where she worked. Lewis says the program aims to meet the needs of those with younger children.
“We have a lot of moms and caregivers at home who are always looking for something for the younger kids to do throughout the day,” he says. “The program is a good start to address this need throughout the city. It’s just one event, but it’s something.”
Every month, “Children’s Thursday” introduces a new theme and project related to a type of art from the museum’s expositions and introduces a basic artistic principle to young artists. Tying in with the museum’s current art exhibitions, the program also caters for adults who accompany children.
“It also educates the parents,” Lewis says. “We want adults to participate in every exhibition we organize. Then the kids will take something based on that exhibition or that piece of work that we might have in the gallery.”
As a former classroom art teacher, Lewis says programs like Toddler Thursdays are essential for young children to gain a creative outlook early in life. Since art is not always prioritized over other subjects in school, this program gives children the opportunity to unleash their inner artists.
“Art gives hope,” he says. “That is my belief. I have seen firsthand how art changes children’s lives. The earlier we get them exploring art the better… Many times art is at the bottom of the totem pole in some traditional school settings, so it’s important for kids to have an artistic outlet and what better place than a museum? ”
Lewis says the museum has plenty of options for those with older children as well. It encourages families to take advantage of free admission on the first Sunday of every month and every Friday afternoon from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The museum offers an abundance of interactive and engaging artwork, along with an educational gallery where children can create works of art and make crafts.
The LSU Museum of Art is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm Explore the museum website for more events. Every Toddler Thursday starts at 10am and upcoming dates and topics include:
October 6: Screaming Fun Time – Creating Scream Art
November 3: Immerse yourself in the elements of design – creating abstract art from leaves
1 Dec: Landscapes and Learning – Abstract and Collage Wood