Five-year-old Mridini Patel and her brother, Atharva Patel, 11, engaged in creating original works of art in a large, light room set aside just for kids at the Triton Museum of Art Dec. 3. They tuned out to the bustle and hum of activity beyond them, where museum visitors viewed the current art exhibits and shopped for handcrafted local art at the annual Holiday Gift Fair.
There were three art project stations in the family art room–one for making a collage, another for drawing a still life of a bird and the third for drawing snow globe ornaments. At each station, children could practice a different art skill related to a holiday theme.
“I made a snow globe and a bird and a collage,” said Mridini, showing off all three. “I feel happy because I like to do art.”
“I like the snow globe station because I learned that if you rub over something raised [with a paper and crayon], it becomes the same thing you rub over–like a reindeer,” said Atharva.
The kids’ parents were in the background, observing.
“We wanted to make the kids aware of art and in different forms,” said their dad, Santa Clara resident Jayesh Patel, explaining why he and his wife, Poonam, brought the kids to Family Fun Day. “It’s good to have a local museum and local artists. The icing on the cake is that it’s free!”
“The museum has a lot of cool exhibits,” said Atharva. “Art isn’t my favorite subject, but I like seeing cool pictures that other people have made.”
“We want to capitalize on the opportunity for families to have opportunities to create art as well as observe it,” said Triton Museum Curator of Art and Education Ester Fernandez, explaining the philosophy behind Family Art Day.
Santa Clara resident Elizabeth Unpingco, who is a teaching artist, supervised the art project stations.
“This is just an all-out great community event with arts as the focus,” said Unpingco.
“And we have wonderful volunteers.”
“I enjoy helping the kids in drawing and painting,” said first-time volunteer Ali Muhammad. The retired pharmacist and self-taught artist paints on canvas with oil and acrylics for his own enjoyment.
Harker High School freshman Emily Cheng and St. Joseph High School junior Jeanette Herrera were earning community service credits by helping the kids with the art projects. Both said they chose to volunteer at the museum because they like art and working with kids.
“It’s wonderful that we host Family Fun Day. It gives kids the opportunity to see fine art and also participate in making art,” said Breeta Toma, Triton Museum Art Education Assistant. “This event is user friendly!”
The Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara, is open every day but Monday. For general information, as well as information about art classes for children, teens and adults, call (408) 247-3754 (office) or (408) 247-2438 (gallery) or check the website: www.tritonmuseum.org.