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Asian Art Family Festival

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FC: Asian Art Family Festival | Walters Art Museum 2014

1: Take a deep breath in the midst of our amazing Asian art collection. Learn about Asian traditions through stories and legends depicted in art, listen to Japanese drum rhythms, and write haikus. Create nature-inspired artwork using origami paper and clay. Discover the plants, animals, and environments of Asia through yoga poses and spark your imagination during a special tea ceremony. Design and wear a Noh mask, paint your very own ceramic vase, arrange your own Japanese flowers, and build a towering pagoda. -Walters Art Museum Flyer

3: The Asian Art Family Festival aligned with the Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics special exhibition, which showcases Japan's contemporary ceramic artists and their innovative containers for the presentation of flowers.

4: Two activities were set up within the special exhibition galleries. The above image shows a felt wall on which visitors could arrange different floral shapes in the ikebana tradition

5: Below are a series of images showing the poetry booth where visitors could sit and compose a poem in reaction to the objects in the show.

6: Above: In sculpture garden, families engage in the practice of yoga. Right: In conjunction with Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Walters set up the Issun Boshi: A Japanese Folktale early childhood area, in which families could read Japanese folktales then act out the stories.

8: At the Botanical Drawings station, participants explore ikebana flower arranging styles and create their own visual arrangement.

9: At the Hopping Haiku station, participants explore that art of Japanese poetry. They learn about the traditional themes and structure by using their bodies to hop from word to word to create a poem.

10: In the second floor lobby, participants had the opportunity to learn about the Japanese theatrical traditions through designing and wearing expressive Noh masks.

12: Japanese artist, Shizumi Manale, showcases the many facets of Japanese culture in her participatory performance, Exploring the Arts of Japan. During her performance, Shizumi demonstrated traditional Japanese dance and explored art of wearing a kimono. She also encouraged visitors to join her on stage throughout her performance.

13: Below are pictures of Shizumi with a family explaining how to dance with a Japanese fan and playing a game, in which the girls must try to snatch a tea towel while Shizumi dances.

15: Upon entering the museum, visitors were greeted by Education Department staff that provided them with a flyer featuring a list of activities and events on the front and a survey on the back.

16: Analysis of Festival Overall, several aspects of this festival made it an effective program for family audiences. Firstly, it offered a diversity of activities to accommodate a variety of learning styles, which is particularly beneficial to family groups as not everyone in the group may have the same interests or learning style. Additionally, there was no set structure to the festival, which allowed visitors to attend activities in any order and for any length of time allowing them to customize their experience to their families’ preferences and needs. Thirdly, all activities encouraged active visitor participation allowing participants to use their senses and bodies to take in information. Multisensory activities such as these are key to facilitating meaningful experiences for children who are “concrete, multi-sensory learners” (Piscitelli et al., 2003, p.22). Moreover, each activity allowed participants to create something and express themselves freely in the process. Finally, the activities provided families the opportunity to engage and work together, which could help them to develop a shared understanding (Piscitelli et al., 2003).

17: The festival would have been strengthened by incorporating authentic objects (or replicas with authentic materials) and offering a debriefing activity for families to take home. Engaging with authentic objects is particularly meaningful to children as is provides them with the unique opportunity to experience ‘the real thing.’ And, as Piscitelli et al. explain, “handling objects may help increase children’s interest in unfamiliar or challenging concepts,”(Piscitelli et al., 2003, p. 22). Additionally, offering a debriefing activity would have allowed families to continue to reflect on the experience and integrate it into their everyday lives. References Piscitelli, Barbara, Everett, Michele, Weier, Katrina and the QUT Museums Colaborative. "Enhancing Young Children's Museum Experiences: A Manual for Museum Staff." 2003. http://bit.ly/12TP5Ld

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  • By: Carolyn B.
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  • Title: Asian Art Family Festival
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