Children who have a tough time expressing themselves with words often find comfort in using art to describe their emotions. The challenge is\u00a0that\u00a0they sometimes think all art consists of\u00a0coloring between the lines. But\u00a0with painting,\u00a0kids\u00a0often find\u00a0freedom to create art without limits.\u00a0Educators say\u00a0encouraging\u00a0children to test boundaries and explore their creativity through\u00a0painting\u00a0can give\u00a0real insight\u00a0into\u00a0youngster\u2019s\u00a0thoughts and feelings.\u00a0 Luckily, The Children\u2019s Museum of Indianapolis has\u00a0a\u00a0Visiting Artist Program\u00a0to help stimulate this type of creativity.\u00a0The Visiting Artist Program is a project of the Lechleiter Indiana Visiting Artist Fund with support provided by The White Oak Foundation,\u00a0and\u00a0Sarah and John Lechleiter. Rita Spalding, a fine artist and Indiana native,\u00a0is the\u00a0second featured artist in the\u00a0Visiting\u00a0Artist program\u00a0(C.W. Mundy was the first).\u00a0Over the next year,\u00a0Spalding and\u00a0the\u00a0Visiting Artist\u00a0Program will offer three\u00a0exciting\u00a0experiences:\u00a0 \tCritters to Canvas\u00a0takes\u00a0place in the Playscape Art Studio of The Children\u2019s Museum, and\u00a0is\u00a0designed to help little ones\u00a05\u00a0years of age\u00a0and younger\u00a0explore\u00a0how to paint\u00a0ducks.\u00a0Kids\u00a0can\u00a0develop an appreciation for nature by\u00a0studying\u00a0the\u00a0iridescent feathers and colorful beaks\u00a0of ducks\u00a0from the museum\u2019s private collection. \tThe\u00a0Natural Science Painting\u00a0Program\u00a0inspires visitors\u00a0of all ages\u00a0to\u00a0pay more attention to animals\u00a0and birds\u00a0that are\u00a0native to Indiana. Spalding\u00a0says\u00a0that\u00a0learning to see what is around us and learning to appreciate the subtlety of color adds a whole new dimension to life, whether one pursues art or not. \tIn the\u00a0National Art Museum of Sport,\u00a0the whole family\u00a0can unleash their creativity with Painting Expression and Movement of Dance.\u00a0This activity\u00a0supports an expressive approach and teaches\u00a0families\u00a0how to incorporate movement into paintings.\u00a0 \u201cIn all three areas, our focus is to make our paintings look realistic by incorporating the concepts of light, color and\u00a0shadow,\u201d Spalding\u00a0says.\u00a0\u201cIt\u2019s amazing how quickly children understand this concept. They begin to look at their world and understand what they\u2019re seeing.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0 By understanding what they see in the world around them, children can express their vision\u00a0and feelings\u00a0in\u00a0their artwork\u00a0more clearly.\u00a0\u00a0 Spalding urges adults to make sure children have plenty of unstructured, unhurried time available for artistic exploration at home.\u00a0Allowing children to explore their vision gives them the opportunity to communicate in their own way.\u00a0With the help of\u00a0The Children\u2019s Museum\u00a0of Indianapolis\u00a0and\u00a0artist\u00a0Rita Spalding,\u00a0children can\u00a0be inspired to\u00a0let their imaginations\u00a0run wild, and who knows\u00a0\u2014\u00a0maybe\u00a0they\u00a0will be the next Monet or Renoir?! Click here\u00a0for specific program times and dates.\u00a0Program entry is included in ticket pricing but is first-come, first served.