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Skidmore’s Tang Museum Launches Its Popular Family Saturdays Series

The series of programs for students K-12 (and tweens) runs from February 15 to April 4.

Skidmore's Tang Museum
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery on Skidmore College's campus. (Peter Olsen)

Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum wants to spend its Saturdays with you. The museum is bringing back its popular Family Saturdays program on February 15, offering a variety of free programs that encourage multigenerational creative collaborations (the series runs through April 4). Each Saturday program is different and involves students checking out the museum’s exhibitions or collections, discussing and sharing ideas about them, and engaging in a hands-on art activity inspired by those conversations.

“The Tang values how art can spark new thoughts and ideas in children and adults alike,” says Sunny Ra, the museum’s educator for K-12 and community programs. “On Family Saturdays, we give visitors the time and space for creativity in sharing their ideas about a work of art,” she says. Participants later “[craft] a physical object that is original, new and entirely their own.”

Depending on the day of attendance, visitors will have the chance to work with a range of materials, including CDs, paint, fabric and natural objects. Some days focus on portraiture while others center on 3-D creations. On the final Saturday, April 4, Skidmore College senior, Olivia Bray, will lead a dance workshop that fuses visual art with movement and gets participants moving. “We are continually inspired by our time shared with participants,” says Ra.

The majority of the programs run from 1pm – 2:30pm, unless otherwise noted, and are suitable for children ages 5 and older, accompanied by an adult companion. The Tang is also offering extra sessions catered to tweens on February 29 and March 21. On these days, sessions for children aged 5 – 9, with an adult companion, will be held at 1pm, and sessions for tweens, with an adult in tow, will take place at 3pm. Visitors of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to share their Family Saturday photos on social media by including the #tangfamsat hashtag.

Though the programs are free, visitors must register in order to participate. You can begin signing up one week before each program by calling the Tang Visitors Services Desk at 518.580.8080. Check out a full list of the events below:

February 15: Shine Bright!
Dive into the abstract world of Mary Weatherford in the exhibition “Mary Weatherford: Canyon-Daisy-Eden!” After you take a closer look at her large-scale paintings that feature bright lights, you’ll have a chance to create your own works of art that weave paint and textiles together.

February 22: Rock Climbing Landscape
After checking out the exhibition “Between the Mountains,” participants will be prompted to discuss the natural world and our impact on the environment. Participants will then be asked to create their own 3-D worlds, using materials such as watercolors, rocks, model magic and cardboard.

February 29: Fabric Works at the Tang
This program will explore works from the Tang collection by artists Franklin Williams (A Beautiful Dark Moment) and Abdoulaye Konate (Metamorphose de Papillon). Both artists use fabric, texture and color in unique ways, and participants will create their own “fabric painting” inspired by the artists’ works.

February 29: Tween Family Saturday: Life Sized
After looking at several works in the exhibition “Flex,” participants will investigate ideas of strength and what forms strength can take. Using these ideas, participants will then create life-size portraits, illustrating what makes them feel strong and empowered.

March 7: Beach Day
Echoing the February 15 program, participants will be taking a closer look at works by artist Mary Weatherford in which she incorporates objects such as starfish and seashells. After a discussion on why these objects might be included in her artwork, participants will be asked to create their own mixed-media painting, using natural objects.

March 14: Portrait Revised
Participants will be inspecting Tang collection works by artists Hassan Hajjaj, Omar Victor Diop and Atong Atem, and thinking about how their portraits tell a story. After looking at and discussing their work, participants will create their own self portrait.

March 21: Operation Space: K-12 And Tweens
On this day, participants will ride the elevator, exploring the interactive exhibit “Elevator Music 40: Melissa Thorne-Landslide Solid.” They’ll land on the mezzanine with interactive exhibit “Nicole Cherubini: Shaking the Trees.” Both artists address the idea of space and its potential for a wide variety of experiences. After discussing their installations, participants will create a space that they’d like to see and experience in a museum.

March 28: Shattered Reality
Participants will take a closer look at works by artists Paula Wilson (Data Unloaded) and Francesca DiMattio (White Umbrella). These artists combine a wide range of visual and conceptual elements such as collage and painting, architecture and history that create a distinct perspective of their world. Inspired by an array of materials such as CDs, specialty papers and masking tape, participants will create their own large-scale view of the modern world.

April 4: Skidmore Dance Collaboration: Movement Workshop
Join the Tang staff for a special Family Saturday collaboration with Skidmore’s Dance Department. Senior Olivia Bray, a dance major, will lead a workshop that fuses visual art with movement. Dress comfortably.

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Simone Teague

Simone Teague is an Editorial Assistant at saratoga living.

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