Homerun for Homeschoolers at the Harn Museum of Art
Do you ever see an event come around each year and think, “this time I’m definitely going to round up my family and go!”
Then you don’t go. So you promise yourself that you will definitely go next time. Uh-huh.
Well that’s how it’s been for me with the Harn Museum of Art Family Days. Every time I announce a Harn Family Day on our calendar, I promise myself that our family will attend and we never do. No real reason, we just end up doing different stuff.
This past Saturday we finally went and I have to say it, “Why haven’t we been attending these all along?”
My husband has been intrigued with studying art lately, so this has given our family a stronger impetus to explore different art venues. Because we live in High Springs and the Harn Museum of Art is a good 30 minutes from our home, we decided to make an afternoon excursion and stop off at the Alachua Humane Society to play with the kitties beforehand. That lasted much longer than I anticipated so by the time we headed south to the musuem, Harn Family Days had already begun.
I don’t care for being late, but luckily Family Days is a “come as you are” event meaning you can drop in at anytime between 1P – 5P.
Parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays, which helps a lot when you’re feeling rushed.
The Family Days event we attended was an exploration of the African Masquerades exhibit. We were greeted in the lobby by the kindest and uber-enthusiastic docent, “Mike.” He was absolutely lovely with the boys and made sure to include them in every conversation. In fact, Mike’s enthusiasm for our tour was infectious and both my 7 year old and 5 year old couldn’t wait to see all the amazing, dang art they would be given special access to!
Mike took us to several specific stopping points where he allowed us to experience a video of African dance, observe a wall of glass-encased masks, study an African map, and try to follow along with a pair of professional dancers who led us through some basic African dance moves. Sweet! Extremely interactive, yet also plenty to observe as well. Mike was patient as my youngest snapped pic after pic on my iPhone – a secret tool in my toolbox that I whip out whenever I think one of the boys’ interest may be waning.
I shouldn’t have worried. Both my kids had a blast.
After a 20 minute or so tour, Mike led us back out to the lobby where tables were set up with craft materials. The boys were invited to make their own African masks, which they gladly did. My boys can be finicky when it comes to arts and crafts. Sometimes they will craft for hours and other times they’ll turn up their nose at crafting.
Well, the Harn Museum of Art must have a magic touch because both kiddos decorated their masks for at least an hour.
Harn Family Days take place five times per year on select Saturdays and revolve around designated exhibitions and themes. These programs are ideal for families with children ages 5 to 11, but all ages are welcome. A Family Day includes a family-friendly tour of art in our galleries and a related art activity. The program is offered at no charge but a $2 donation per child is suggested.
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