I dragged O. and Baby J. to a gallery last weekend. It was a group show, and it basically looked like the artists had taken a bunch of everyday stuff and tossed it around the gallery in various configurations. Not the best show for kids. Still, I was interested in trying to figure out what was what, but there were no labels, and the titles on the gallery checklist were not helpful. And the kids were getting squirrelly.
Here’s the treasure hunt part: all of the artworks were made of peculiar materials. So I read the list of materials off the checklist — roll of tape, air freshener, and plywood (for example) — and O. had to figure out which artwork went with which list of materials. It was fun — we even got one wrong. We assumed one sculpture was made of metal, but by the end of our little treasure hunt, it was clear that we needed to take a closer look: the only artwork we hadn’t located was actually made of film stock.
It was fun — it kept the kids busy so I could look, and we all enjoyed the challenge. Wonder if this might work in a museum gallery?