March 9, 2007

Strollers, High Art & HiArt


One of the shows the kid and I saw yesterday was by the German sculptor Isa Genzken at David Zwirner Gallery. Genzken has something of a signature style, which involves using deliberately artless-seeming techniques on commercial/industrial/pre-existing materials. The result's kind of collage-y or junk-like, which suits the artist's purposes. She's very famous in Germany.

Whatever the content or concept of her work--this show is apparently about post-apocalyptic detritus of some kind--it's a blast for a kid to see; it's like "I Spy." There were Road Warrior-looking baby dolls in chairs under tattered sun umbrellas, reworked furniture all over, and this mutated wheel-chair/stroller tandem deal [non-functioning, those wheels aren't on an axle. It's art.]

As we were leaving, a troupe of toddlers, parents in tow, showed up, too, and started drawing something or other. Turns out they're from a kids' art program called HiArt, which has a whole range of programs for kids as young as 2. There are in-studio projects, gallery visits, dance and opera activities, even a manga camp for older kids.

Frankly, it sounds awesome. We're already kind of soaking in it, but for someone who wants to share some fun contemporary art and culture experiences with his kid, this may be a good way to get your feet wet. Has anyone taken a class there or know anything about the experience? How useful/relevant is it for little kids? And most importantly, how does it play on the preschool applications? heh

Isa Genzken at David Zwirner through March 17
HiArt! Kids programs run $600-1300 or so []

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