"Ready to art"


“I’m gonna look at you,” a short-haired girl announces to her friend, who shifts seats to provide a better view. They begin to draw one another, using pencil to form disembodied faces on their papers. Unhappy with the initial results of her work, the short-haired girl cocks her head to the side and asks her friend to take her hair down.

This perfectionist painter, who looks to be late in her elementary-school years, participates in the Smart Museum’s July 18 Art Afternoon. Including her, 133 visitors have shown up to paint and learn about the week’s theme: portraits. In the galleries, parents and children search out paintings listed in a handout, answering questions and doing their own drawings in pencil. Moving to the lobby, kids make portraits with the help of adults and docents.

One girl, so small that her T-shirt reaches almost past the bottom of her shorts, dashes into the museum and shouts, “I’m ready to art!” Too excited to notice the leaf in her hair, she rushes over to the docents' table, grabs a pencil, and begins to draw on a handout. Adults try to guide her to the painting tables, but only reluctantly does she relinquish her pencil.

Seth Mayer, '08, Smart Museum docent

Photos: A boy starts to paint; wearing a paper bag to protect her clothes, his sister concentrates on her portrait.

July 23, 2007