Interactive Chagall exhibit exposes children to art

“What a beautiful way to expose these children to the arts,” exclaimed Portland Children’s Museum Board President Shawn DuBurg at the Sept. 28 opening of the Chagall for Children exhibit.

As soon as the ribbon across the entrance was cut, children, parents and educators flowed into the exhibit space to explore the 14 reproductions of some of Marc Chagall’s most famous paintings, such as “The Circus,” “The Birthday,” and “Paris Through the Window.” As they look at each vivid painting, children can listen to an audio recording that invites them to explore the artwork’s theme through playful activities.

For instance, children can conduct their own symphony by pushing buttons for different instruments next to Chagall’s painting “The Concert.” Camouflage capes next to “The Circus” invite children to hide beside the painting’s bright colors.

The paint studio developed to accompany the Chagall exhibit provides canvases, easels, paints and brushes so children can create their own masterpieces.

The ceremony also marked the opening of a permanent gallery space for art created by young artists. The permanent art gallery will showcase the creative potential of the community’s youngest artists.

Both the Chagall exhibit and permanent gallery have been funded by the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation. CARE Foundation Executive Director Barb Hall said Arlene Schnitzer is thrilled to have the foundation participate in funding the exhibit.

“Arlene Schnitzer believes that art represents the soul of a community and that children should be exposed at very young age and encouraged to participate and explore all the different forms of art,” said Hall at the exhibit opening. “She discovered the visual arts in her early 20s when she walked into the Museum Art School (now known as Pacific NW College of Art) and knew she had found her passion that would shape her as the person we know today. She believes every young child should have the same opportunity she did to be exposed to the arts and possibly find their passion.”

Levia Friedman, a member of Congregation Neveh Shalom and a teacher at the Opal School housed at the museum, said she thinks the exhibit offers an “amazing opportunity for field trips.” Not only does the exhibit offer “a great introduction to art,” but for Jewish schools there is the added benefit of exploring the life of the famous Jewish artist, she said. Panels around the exhibit include vignettes about various periods in Chagall’s life.

Second image: Shawn DuBurg, president of the Portland Children’s Museum Board of Directors, and Barbara Hall, vice president/executive director of the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, watch 7-year-old Kaiden Hardwick jump for joy after cutting the ribbon to open the Chagall for Children exhibit at the Portland Children’s Museum Sept. 28. Funded by the CARE Foundation, the exhibit will be at the Children’s Museum until Jan. 21. DuBurg and Hall asked for a young volunteer to cut the ribbon, and Hardwick was the first to raise his hand.

The exhibit continues through Jan. 21, 2013.

CHAGALL FOR CHILDREN

LOCATION: Portland Children’s Museum, in Washington Park across from Oregon Zoo;
4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland, 97221

FALL/WINTER HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday • 9 am-5 pm; Thursday • 9 am-8 pm
Free First Friday every month, 4-8 pm

ADMISSION: Museum members and under age 1, free; ages 1-54, $9; over 55 and military, $8

CONTACT: 503-223-6500 • portlandcm.org

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