The Heckscher Museum of Art is well worth a visit. The atmosphere is family-friendly, children's guides are provided, and a table is set up for hands-on art, inspired by a current work of art on display. While the museum is small and manageable for small children, its collections are huge, meaning you may want to come back again and again as the curators rotate their displays. Its location is also ideal for families as well, situated in Heckscher Park, with its wildlife, ponds and playgrounds, you could certainly make a day out of an outing here.
As mentioned in an earlier post on the Nassau County Musuem of Art, sharing artwork can really bring families together and give children a voice to express their feelings. As you tour the exhibit, let your children lead the way and be sure to ask them what it is they like best about the pieces they gravitate to. You might want to encourage them to spend a bit more time on a particular piece. Don't feel they have to take it all in in one visit-it might be best to select a few pieces to really get to know in detail rather than spend your visit glossing over the entire exhibit.
Max Weber on Long Island
April 28–August 5, 2012
This exhibit features two dozen of Max Weber's finest landscapes on Long Island. The pieces focus on the land and include both industrial and domestic structures. Weber lived on Long Island from 1920 until his death in 1960. According to the museum's website, he is considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His works use modernist strategies, including Cubism (he is credited with bringing this style to America) and was greatly inspired by Cezanne.
Sharing Max Weber with Children
How often do we get the chance to admire our surroundings? How often do we note how a subtle change in light affects the way we see? As a science teacher, I have always maintained that my ultimate goal was to get my students to look at their world differently and in greater detail. In exploring art with my children, I find the goal is the same. The beauty of landscape art is that we get to see nature through the artist's eyes. We can differentiate how the artist chose to picture the scene and how the light alters the landscape. By spending time, sharing a landscape together as a family we may ultimately influence the way we look at our everyday surroundings. The Max Weber exhibit features Weber's landscapes at different times of the year. As you view the varying landscapes, be sure to ask your children to share what season they think they are looking at, what time of day, and how do they know, or how did the artist choose to let us know. Preschoolers can be challenged to find which aspects of the artwork are man-made and which are natural.
Long Island Biennial
April 28–August 12, 2012
In partnership with the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, this exhibit features 52 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and mixed media. A team of jurors have selected the pieces among works submitted by artists and filmmakers on Long Island. A gallery of the submitted artwork can be seen here. When touring the exhibit be sure to ask for a visitor's guide, or download one here . The guide helps children focus their attention as they search for details in the artwork. I especially like the section entitled "Huey's Water Fun Artwork Search," as it has children look at the various ways the artists use water in their work. It also provides instructions for designing a party dress using mixed-media collage, inspired by Mother Earth's Party Dress, by Ginger Balizer-Hendler. For the duration of the exhibit a table with mixed media will be available for party-dress designers. If you'd like to take your visit a step further, check out the teacher's guide. It provides a lot of information, including definitions of artistic terms and background information on the artists and their work. Download a teacher's guide here.
Across Time and Place, Treasures from the Permanent Collection
As you tour this section, be sure to look for the signs with Huey's Kid Friendly Information, it help to focus your children on the artwork and provide interesting topics for discussion.
On August 18th, the museum will introduce two new exhibits that look very promising. The first is "Absorbed by Color, Art in the 20th Century." At this time, artists began using color for its own sake and exploring the emotional quality of colors. I'm looking forward to this exhibit in particular, because my two preschoolers are very color-minded. My daughter is obsessed with pink, and my son, green, perhaps this exhibit will help us to broaden our appreciation of colors and how they make us feel. Maybe I can even get them to wear a new one!
Also coming in August is Robert Neuman's "Ship to Paradise," a collection of mixed media on paper. It takes a whimsical view of the human folly. There are countless conversation topics in these works.
Summer Visual Arts Worskshops
Summer workshops are organized by age group. Students will discover the works of art within the museum using them as a guide to create their own original artwork using a variety of media. Each session culminates with a student-led exhibition and tour of the museum for family and friends. Students get plenty of individualized attention as they work in small groups alongside great works of art.
Discover Art Sense
Monday, July 2–Friday, July 6 (except Wednesday, July 4th)
10am–12pm or 1–3pm
Members $150, nonmembers $225
July 9–August 12
Choose one weekly session July 9–August 10th
Members $375, nonmembers $475
July 23–August 3
Members $695, nonmembers $795
All participants will have their work displayed at the Huntington Public Library from September 5–28 and will be invited to attend an opening reception at the library.
School's Out, Art's In
Children ages 7–12 can participate in art workshops during the school breaks. Participants explore the artwork at the museum then create original works of art using a variety of media. The week culminates with a student-led tour of the exhibition. Check the calendar for dates.
Hecksher Musuem of Art
Saturday and Sunday –10am–5pm
Huntington resident adults $8, students $4, under 10 free
Nonresident adults $10, students $5, under 10 free