Wallace Stevens published his poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird in 1917, around seven years after Pablo Picasso painted the cubist landscape Sacre-Coure. In the poem and the painting, these two artists explore one object (a blackbird and a Parisian church, respectively) through multiple perspectives. Jumping forward to November 2010, students from Chief Sealth International High School were introduced to both works during a visit to SAM Downtown and asked to add a layer of their own perspectives in a creative writing exercise led by teaching writers Cambray Provo and Jeanine Walker.
— JiaYing Grygiel, admissions representative
Family Fun workshop participants age 5-12 and their guardians explore Heide Hinrichs installation, Borrowed Tails, with teaching artist Ben Waterman. For these young people and their families this was the first time viewing and making art in response to a contemporary art installation. The potential confusion that occurs when entering an artful space such as Hinrich’s installation was short lived for these youngsters and quickly turned to wonder as they searched for clues and discovered the latent connections within the exhibition. The excitement rose as the group approached the Chase Open Studio to create their own installations.
Nate Herth, Museum Educator, Teen, Family & Community Programs
Top photo: “This is no ordinary school desk” Family Fun workshop participants get into Heide Hinrichs’ installation Borrowed Tails in the SAM Next Gallery. Photo: Nate Herth
Nothing is more rewarding to a museum educator than seeing the positive impact of your programs on students. During the six month run of Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act more than 9,300 students visited the SAM’s galleries and experienced Calder’s work in person. Students learned about how he used geometry and math to create beautify balanced sculptures and created their own works of art out of wire and recycled materials in the museum’s art studio spaces. Here are some of our favorite thank you notes and quotes from students who visited the exhibition.
Today’s New York Times article by William Yardley highlighted the sculpture park’s no touching of art policy as an example of how Seattle is struggling to become kid-friendly as the population of children here grows. As a mother of two extremely active and curious little girls, I can honestly say that my kids love playing at the Olympic Sculpture Park. I am admittedly a little biased because I work for the museum but the park has a special sense of place that I know kids can sense.
Any day is a good day to visit a museum, but on this Free First Thursday we’re making it pretty hard NOT to pay us a visit:
- We’re heading into the final week of Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act. Today’s the day to finally come check it out. There’s a free, guided tour at 7 pm
- Live kinetic sculpture in the galleries, courtesy of “A Glimmer of Hope or Skin or Light,” commissioned by ACT Theatre’s Central Heating Lab and preformed by Lingo Dance Company.
- Free concert by Toy Box Trio at 5:30.
- Still on view: Everything Under the Sun: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham. Gorgeous, innovative works of photography. Watch the video on our website before your visit.
- The museum is open until 9 pm.
Come join the fun!
-Nicole Chism Griffin, SAM PR
First Thursday enthusiasts surrounding/surrounded by Cai Guo-Qiang’s Inopportune: Stage One (Cai Guo-Qiang, Inopportune: Stage One, 2004, Cars and sequenced multi-channel light tubes, each car: 16 x 6 ft. © Cai Guo-Qiang)