Monday, October 18, 2004

Tour the UnMuseumContemporary Art Center Downtown Cincinnati
Monday, October 18, 10 – 11:30 am
Organized by: Laura P.

Laura P. wrote: Tour the UnMuseum, the Center's unique, 6th floor education facility for children. A docent will conduct us on a tour, leading thought-provoking discussions about the UnMuseum's interactive works of art for children. The tour will be followed by a hands-on art projectin the new Art Lab.

Since my own formal expose to art has been quite limited, I always jump at the chance to expose my children to art in all its forms. It wasn't until I was in the 9th grade and on a class trip to Chicago that I stepped into an art museum for the first time. Even though there were a couple of wonderful art museums in Cincinnati, my parents never bothered to take my brother or me to them. I found the museum in Chicago to be overwhelming and wonderful at the same time and drove the teacher absolutely nuts with all of my questions. Of course, being in a typical school setting, my "outside the box" questions were looked at as an annoyance.

As a young adult I visited the Contemporary Art Center for the first time. Jay and I went to see the Maplethorpe exibit, mostly out of curiosity since it raised such a stink in the local community. I went to see they exhibit for the same reason I went to the Hustler store when it opened. I had to see what all the fuss was about.

Back to my point. Since having children, I have made an effort to expose them to art. It started when they were little and we would take advantage of free Sundays at the art museum. On more than one occasion, we have had security follow us through the museum, assuming that there is no way that their priceless treasures will survive the hoard! Surprisingly, the kids have always understood the "look and don't touch" concept.

When I saw a post on a local homeschooling list about the Contemporary Art Center's Unmuseum I was intrigued and eager to join the adventure. As an UNschooler and UNmuseum sounded like the perfect place for us! Brett and Hannah were at Monday school, so the younger set and I headed downtown, dispite torrentual rain. We parked a couple of blocks from the center and quickly made our way through the rain. One can only IMAGINE how much fun it is dragging a baby, toddler and preschooler who is terrified of thunder and lightening through the busy downtown streets. But we would soon find out that our efforts would be rewarded!

We were the first to arrive (it always amazes me that the lady with all the kids is usually early and the one with a single older child is usually late, but I digress....) but we were soon joined by about 7 other families. A docent broke our group into two smaller groups and we were led to the 6th floor. The docent was engaging and you could tell that she really enjoyed her work. The museum was warm and inviting, encouraging touch and interaction. Sophie and Cade really liked enteracting with the pieces, especially the robotic tree that responded to their movements and "peed" from his branches. This was far from your typical art museum!

At the end of the tour, we each got to make our own sculpture with model magic. The kids had great fun "creating"! Now I just wonder how they will do in a few weeks when we tour the regular art museum and its "hands off" policy! Maybe those security guards will actually have something to worry about this time!

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