Posted by Kim Schoelen
Omigosh, that was so cheesy. It hurt to type “art from the heart” as a title, but once it got stuck in my head I couldn’t make it go away and then I couldn’t think of anything better. Pathetic, especially since this is a totally rad blog post that’s about to happen.
On the first of July I took a group of 20 kids (all 11 year olds) out for an art walk on the Fulton Mall. I’m sure you’ve picked up on how much I love sharing cool stuff about downtown with people. I’ve already blogged twice about tours this month (and begged Rebecca Miller to write about the third which I also attended so that I didn’t look too obsessed…)
But they’re fun, our art collection is RIDIC and not just limited to “WE HAVE A RENOIR”, either. Peter Volkous’ “Big A” is one piece I love showing children because their interpretations vary so widely of what it might be or mean. And then I tell them It doesn’t mean anything, as Volkous told the Fresno Bee in 1965, and hopefully pass along to them that art can be created just because. It doesn’t need any underlying reason or cause or interpretation.
Kids pick up on things totally differently than adults too. When we stop to look at another favorite of mine, “Valley Landing” by Gordon Newell, many adults don’t see the image in the abstract piece- a bird in flight. Kids on the other hand almost always see it. Sometimes they see a shark fin, too, and that’s fun and just fine. Kids are so much more natural at appreciating art than adults are. We want to get too much into the why’s and the how’s. They’re into the way it is.
So if this great art tour happened all the way back in July why I am just now gushing about how great it is? Well I’ll tell you. I received one of the greatest gifts a wannabe tour guide could receive- a book filled with pictures of the favorite pieces the kids were able to experience. I’ve taken a few pictures of their drawings to share because they’re just too good to keep to myself.
If you’re a teacher, youth group leader or otherwise inclined to want a tour for your group, let us know! We love giving tours and sharing the treasures we have in Downtown Fresno!