Books We Love: The Noisy Paint Box

Noisy Paint Box Book CoverThe Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock is about the artist Vasily Kandinsky, or Vasya as he is known in the book. When young Vasya is given a box of paints by his aunt, the paints began to hiss and sing when mixed together! Vasya’s reserved family never knew what his paintings were supposed to look like (was it a house or a flower?), but to Vasya it wasn’t representation, it was about the music that the combinations and arrangements of different colors made. Vasya eventually uses his talents and creativity to paint the first completely abstract painting. It is thought that Kandinsky had synesthesia, a rare condition where the senses are blended, which is why he could hear the colors. Kandinsky turned this possible challenge into a gift which gave him unique perspective on his art.

Throughout the book, Vasya tries to do everything that is proper and expected of him, but in the end he listens to the sound of paints and follows his dream. This book is a great conversation starter for a variety of different topics, such as taking chances, the senses and abstract art. Continue reading

Spring Into Art

Book cover for Art Lab for KidsYour library has a number of resources for encouraging aspiring artists and for supporting arts education. You can check out St. Louis Art Museum Kits, which contain replicas of art objects and artifacts that can be handled and looked at up close, as well as posters, books and either audio cassettes or videos. We also have plenty of art books for creative kids, as well as artwork on display in all of our libraries, from the mural of historic photographs at the Southern Boone County Public Library to pieces of the Columbia Art League’s permanent collection exhibited at the Columbia Public Library.

We are pleased to announce a new, locally created online resource available to explore and teach kids about art. The Museum of Art and Archaeology has created “A Portrait of the Museum in 30 Objects.” Each entry has a high quality image of a museum artwork – from ancient Roman objects to paintings and multi-media sculpture – available for Continue reading

So Many Events, So Little Time

I feel so lucky to live in a community that provides abundant opportunities for families. Here are a few opportunities coming up on Saturday, October 12th:

hoopHarps & Hoops

The artists at Orr Street Studios invite you to make harps and hula hoops and then hoop it up to harp music! Maria D. Trevor, harpist and teacher of harp, will play. Grace Cunningham will bring her hula hoop-making creativity and skills for a hoop-making workshop.  Free.

Where: Orr Street Studios, 106 Orr St.
When: noon-3 p.m.
Who: Children ages 5-15, with accompanying adult.

Stories in Art, Art in Stories

Encourage your child’s interest in reading while promoting visual literacy, creative thinking and language development. “The Sound of Colors” by Jimmy Liao will provide inspiration for an art project involving kids in active looking, listening, imagining and creating. Presented by the Columbia Art League. Call 443-3161 to register, beginning Tuesday, October 1.

Where: Children’s Program Room at the Columbia Public Library
When:3-3:45 p.m.
Who: Children ages 5-9

Fall Tiger Family Fun Fest

Free activities for your family including a bounce house, face painting, arts and crafts and more.

Where: ParentLink, 4800 Santana Circle in Columbia.
When: 10:30-3:00
Who: Families

The tricky part is figuring out how to squeeze this much fun into one day!

A Tweet Trio: Three Books About Kindness

Book cover for A Home for BirdLately I have found myself drawn to picture books that show empathy and selfless acts. I have never been a fan of the didactic book when it comes to life lessons. I believe that when stories are read or told, the lessons they contain can only truly “stick” when the recipient is ready to hear them. Three books have recently caught my eye as wonderful stories of selfless acts. Not only do they show kindness, but they also show the giving of time and energy. These gentle books can sometimes be overlooked and under-appreciated, but I recommend them for those children ready for messages about thoughtfulness and compassion. They all happen to have birds in them (as the hero or as the recipient), and all three use different art mediums.

When Blue Met Egg” by Lindsay Ward
A misguided but loving bird mistakes a snowball for an egg and tries to get the egg back its mother.
Medium: Cut paper illustrations. Continue reading

Artsy Books for Creative Kids

Look_at_sculptureArt doesn’t have to be stuffy and pretentious. In “Unlikely Pairs: Fun With Famous Works of Art” by Bob Raczka, kids can look at famous works of art from different eras in a playful, funny, new way. Each layout pairs two famous works, often in different styles, creating a new perspective. In one, a sculpture of an archer is paired with a modern painting of a target; another has a man holding a skull paired with “The Scream,” the famous painting by Edvard Munch. Each pair invites the viewer to look a little closer at the works and consider their relationship to each other, usually producing a different meaning than that of each original on its own.

Another good title to share with kids is “Look! Look! Look! at Sculpture” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, which would be great to read just before a trip to an art museum or gallery. Continue reading