With arts education consistently on the chopping block because of budget cuts, the Triton Museum of Art continuously picks up some of the slack by offering free Family Art Days three times a year. The most recent Family Art Day event happened on October 6.
“What we love about our Family Day is that we don’t do craft projects,” said Maria Ester Fernandez, curator of education at the Triton. “We really try to introduce projects that have a concept – they’re learning to work with the material and all ages can do it.
“We have three activities today – keeping in mind that we have many ages coming. It’s not just for middle school. It’s not just for high school. We have all ages and that’s what we want. We want everyone coming in and creating and having a great time and so we try to plan activities that are open-ended…Each activity is led by an art teacher that will teach art classes beginning next week.”
Family Art Day visitors had the opportunity to create monochromatic faces, mood colorings and paper sculptures.
“[With the faces] they’re looking at value and how to create shading and depth into the face,” said Fernandez. “[With the paper sculpture] they’re looking at lines. They’re using different lines to create a pattern and then they cut it out and try to create a paper sculpture to add some 3D to it. [With the mood coloring] we wanted to have them learn to really use an oil pastel and blend colors to create either warm or cool. It was inspired by the Maxine Solomon show. The last activity, we brought up because of the portraiture in the Cuong Nguyen exhibition. We usually have one or two activities that are directly related to the exhibitions each Family Day and we encourage them to go out into the galleries and look at the exhibitions.”
The museum, which is currently writing grants to obtain funding for the program, paid for this event, but would like to expand the event to nine months out of the year.
“This year we’re pending funding, but we are so committed to doing them that we will take the hit if we have to. In the past they’ve been funded by the Mission City Community Fund and other organizations,” said Fernandez. “This one we paid for. We feel they’re important to the community and we’re not going to cancel.”
For more information on the Triton Museum of Art’s Family Art Day visit www.tritonmuseum.org. To sponsor a future Family Art Day event, contact Chris Chang Weeks, Triton’s director of development at (408) 247-0731.