Art museums are a playground for exploration and creativity. In pre-coronavirus times, Kimberlynn Martin, Manager of Education and Youth Programs for the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in St. Petersburg, Florida, helped area kids experience that within the Museum’s galleries through play. So when the Museum closed its doors due to COVID-19 risk, Kimberlynn, known as “Miss Kim”, quickly whipped her living room into an arts classroom. Now every other week, through the Museum’s newly launched Art Break series, she’s rolling out fun and educational activities for little learners – everywhere – to do at home.
All Art Break activities are inspired by works in the MFA’s collection and special exhibitions, and include kid-friendly art history lessons as well as a hands-on project. “Making Paper Costumes“, the first in the series, is inspired by a special exhibition that’s full of original costumes, costume designs, set designs and more. It encourages kids to try their hand at design, imagining stories and characters of their own.
“Kids are expert learners, and though our galleries are closed for the time being, the MFA will always be a resource for their artful exploration,” Kim told WYSK in an email interview. “Our new Art Break series allows us to continue to help children engage with art from around the world and throughout history, while inspiring their curiosity and excitement for learning.”
The five other Art Break activities released, to date, include “Flower Still Lifes“, “Shadow Puppets“, “Paper Cutting“, “Tissue Paper Flowers“, and “Paper Poppies” (this is our WYSKy fave as its inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe… the MFA has three of O’Keeffe’s pieces in their collection, one of which is her oil on canvas “Poppy” from 1927).
All Art Break activities are “perfect for students in K-6”, and recommended for those in K-3 with with adult help. While we technically age out, we’re rolling up our sleeves to take a much needed art break with “Miss Kim” because… there is no age limit on art-filled fun!
As part of the series, Kim is also giving video tutorials and interacting virtually on the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg Facebook page and YouTube channel. And she wants to see what’s being creating at home, so be sure to share with the MFA on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #MFAFromHome.
Art Break will continue to add activities until it’s safe for the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg to reopen and kids are back in school. Until then, “Miss Kim” is committed to helping kids, parents, homeschoolers and educators. “Let’s keep kids learning about shapes, colors, and the world through art…and give caretakers a break! We are all in this together.”