Art is a great way for little ones to express their creativity and learn about the world around them.
Paleo art combines science and art to literally paint a picture of how the creatures lived. The artwork helps spark our own imagination and curiosity so we gain a deeper understanding of what day-to-day life may have been like for them.
Comic Book Fun
“Comics are the perfect gateway for children to engage with science,” says Coco Fox, paleo-cartoonist. “By using humor and storytelling, science comics can introduce new concepts in an accessible and engaging way. Once kids see these comics, the first thing they want to do is write their own stories using our dinosaurs as the main characters! Making science fun is the first step to making science important. Creating comics is a great way for these children to share their passion for dinosaurs and science long after they leave the museum.”
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features the creatures in its Dinosphere Art Lab with a variety of ways to create your own by experimenting with form by stretching ‘putty’ over a bronze egg cast that is missing its top. Give the egg texture with stamping tools. Families can create their own dinosaur path of footprints (trackway) by rubbing a crayon over a textured plate and learn about skin, scales and other characteristics that dinos may have had. Learn about dino diets by composing a scene of carnivores (meat eaters) and herbivores (vegetarians) noshing. Choose a Cretaceous Period forest or river delta scene on a magnetic board and add dinosaurs and their food, like plants and insects — and maybe even other dinosaurs! One of the most popular activities by far is one in which families color their own dinosaurs and scan them. An animated dino “hatches” from an egg and virtually joins other dinosaurs roaming the Earth on a giant projection screen!
If dinos aren’t your thing, leap into space with new Visiting Artist Ashley Nora. She fell in love with drawing when she was 6 years old. She continued with it through high school and college. While her degree was in chemistry, she missed her creative side and made the bold decision to pursue art full-time! You can find her sharing her knowledge of art and space, galaxies, billions of stars and their solar systems during one of the free, hands-on art workshops.
Fashion and Mexican Culture
Little fashionistas will want to meet Beatriz Vasquez who experiments with the conceptual use of papel picado, a Mexican folkloric art. It transforms layers of intricately cut paper into murals, wearable sculptures, and large-scale installations. Her work focuses on her Mexican-American ancestry, cultural memory, border culture, and social issues including immigration, human rights and climate change advocacy.
The Visiting Artist Program is a project of the Lechleiter Indiana Visiting Artist Fund with support provided by The White Oak Foundation, Sarah and John Lechleiter. Check out the schedule of when you can join them for free at childrensmuseum.org/calendar.