Fine Art with Kids
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa
By Missy Boudiette
When imagining the words “art and children” inhabiting the same sentence, most people probably envision smocks, finger paints, and paste. Honestly most would probably imagine most of the paste being in the MOUTHS of children before they would really equate any of it with true art. They also likely would not include the adjective “fine” in conjunction with the term “art.”
I am a huge proponent of the arts in all forms. As a child and teen I was involved in dance, choir, after school art classes, acting, and competitive speech. I may be a bit partial, but I believe the arts are not only ways of expressing ourselves, but ways of understanding our world and others’ perceptions of it that we may not have seen otherwise. There are many non-profit organizations that are so committed to the positive impact of art, music and dance that they provide programs at no cost to underprivileged kids and those who’ve had such programs cut at their schools.
Enough of my soap box - As a parent, I want to expose my kids to everything from sports, to intellectual endeavors, to fine art, food and culture and all the other fun stuff along the way. Fine art can be a difficult thing to share with little ones, but there is one place in town that helps us do that. A gorgeous 72 room mansion has been home to the Philbrook Museum of Art since 1938, donated in hopes of becoming the art center of Tulsa. Not only are children 18 and under welcomed into the museum free of charge every day, on the 2nd Saturday of every month the Oklahoma Arts Council sponsors Family Free Day. It’s a fantastic opportunity to tour the museum, on your own or hosted by a volunteer with a kid-friendly puppet and story book. If that wasn’t enough, when you join the My Museum program, you (your kids) get your very own art box, with a new art item to put in it each month you visit. To top it all off, the museum itself is filled with hands-on art activities for the whole family. You’re welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy it in the lavish gardens behind the mansion, or enjoy some gourmet fare at the Villa Restaurant. The great thing is you can stay all day if you like, or as long as you can before someone has a meltdown (which has been the case with us on many occasions)!
As often as we can, we attend 2nd Saturday, and have introduced many friends to it. My littles have been coming with me since my youngest was still in diapers, and our 10 year old enjoys it as much as the rest. Marc and I have produced some pretty delightful works ourselves (if we do say so ourselves)! Take a look at our pics from several visits, and please share some from yours!
Carter and Marc exploring the gardens at our most recent visit.
Marc and Carter enjoying a fancy pants boys snack in the restaurant. Carter said it was the best pizza he’s ever had!
My Honey displaying some of his artwork. It's abstract.
Everyone hard at work!
I just love seeing the whole family engaged and enjoying something together. Now THAT’S what I call fine art!
See you around town!