'Light Trails' - Mini Art Club, Manchester Art Gallery

Mini Art Club is a monthly session for children aged 0-5 and their parents / carers at Manchester Art Gallery. It runs as 2 sessions from 10.15am - 11.15am and 11.30am - 12.30pm every 2nd Friday of the month. The aim of the club is to encourage young children and their adults to creatively explore and respond to artworks, spaces and materials both in the gallery and in the learning studio. Mini Art Club has really grown as a project space for working creatively with young children and their adults, mainly through:

good team work, careful planning, time and space to set things up, making observations, documenting sessions, reflection, evaluation, paying attention to details and maintaining a desire to keep things fun, child-led, family-friendly and innovative (phew!)

We've also tried to develop new ways to engage with artworks and gallery spaces, so that families/carers with young children can feel comfortable visiting the gallery. The aim is not to simply make and take something home, it's all about having the time and space to play, explore, encounter, discover, engage the senses, get messy, have fun and develop new expressive vocabulary.

Looking through my photos, I realised I have been developing and delivering Mini Art Club since 2008. This month it'll be our 43rd club! I was going to wait until the 50th club to blog about it but I'm a little impatient so I thought I'd make a start now!

Please click on the link (below) to see the wonderful Mini Art Club film created by filmmaker and fabulous Mini Art Club Assistant, Jessica Wild (Wild Bees Production). Jess filmed our recent 'Light Trails' Mini Art Club session and created this wonderful video clip. Also here are some stills from the session:

In this session we asked families to explore the light and dark spaces of the Craft & Design Gallery, using torches and coloured acetate to find objects, shadows and different light features on the top floor of the Art Gallery. We then invited everyone to explore a specially created light laboratory in Studio 1, where there were a number of materials to explore (touch, crawl into, shine torches through, hide behind, etc). In Studio 2, we also played music in a fairly dark, empty space with a small blue-light projection screen, which provided the opportunity for families to interact with each other, move around, dance with torches, listen, look and just enjoy spending time together relaxing:

Please click here for the Mini Art Club film: http://vimeo.com/30916255

For Mini Art Club 'Light Trails' stills, please see the pictures below!

Related links:

http://www.grassrootscreative.co.uk/clients/cce/miniart.swf

http://www.creativitycultureeducation.org/our-programmes/story-catching/mini-art-club,448,AR.html

http://vimeo.com/17795478

http://vimeo.com/wildbeesproduction

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchester_city_galleries/sets/72157628036606333/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchester_city_galleries/collections/72157606686346575/

http://www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/

http://www.earlyarts.co.uk/ http://culturebaby.co.uk/