The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has launched its first online exhibition, Art in Place: Social Distancing in the Studio, giving viewers an up-close look at the many ways creativity is sustaining picture-book artists around the world during the pandemic. As co-curator Mo Willems writes in the exhibit's introduction: "Science will get us out of this. Art will get us through this."
Stepping into the the studios of children's book illustrators LeUyen Pham (pictured above), Sandra Boynton, and Dan Santat, to name just a few, students are treated to a sneak peek of each illustrator's most recent work. Pham's illustrations reference the pandemic, showing what happens on an "unremarkable day" when "everyone who was outside...went inside." The 21 illustrators featured also share how they're coping in lockdown. Santat built a ukelele out of cardboard and plays it every day! "I wanted to create something beautiful during a stressful time," he says. "A symbol of sorts, to show that I used my time to create something truly precious, so that despite any hardships that were to happen, I could look fondly at the instrument and know my spirit wasn't defeated."
The Whitney Museum of Art’s
Kids Art Challenge
offers a series of art projects based on works in the museum’s collection. Students look closely at a single work by artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jacob Lawrence, Edward Hopper, Nick Cave, and many others. Then they use that work of art as inspiration to create their own. For instance, after learning about Nick Cave’s Soundsuit #20 and how the noises it makes are associated with protest and creating positive change, students are invited to make some noise of their own in support of a cause they care about using everyday household items.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art invites kids to explore its vast collection by clicking objects on a huge illustrated map. Each click produces a photo of the object, fun facts, background information, and a couple ways to engage with the art. Most also include a video of kids’ own art creations based on the object. For example, kids who click on the illustration of Edgar Degas’ “The Little Fourteen Year Old Dancer” see a photo of the sculpture along with this fun fact: “When the original version of this sculpture was first displayed, it wore a wig made of horsehair.” Students can read about the history of the sculpture, do a hands-on project based on it, and even watch a video animation kids created, “The Dance Class,” that was inspired by the sculpture.