Chicago is a city with diverse population filled with culture and traditions of families from around the world. The city is full of museums celebrating art and culture of various people. One museum many may not know of is the Smart Museum based in the Historic Hyde Park area.
The museum is on the University of Chicago campus and many of the art majors can be seen as volunteer docents to help answer any questions you may have. The museum features art from numerous cultures and times such as Asian, European, Modern, and Contemporary art.
The art is constantly being rotated so frequent visits are needed to keep up with their collection. Families are catered to every Saturday with hands on activities and are free. Past activities included woven colors and mixed media where children are able to create their own works of art based of art in the museum.
The next activity is on March 2, from 1-4 pm where children base art on children’s books from the Indian Sahmat Collection based of the activism of India. All activities include free art materials so no need to bring your own.
The museum hosts special exhibits featuring different cultures and it’s relation to art. Currently on view is the Sahmat Collective which focuses on the right to freely express one self through art in society. This movement began after the murder during a street performance of artist and activist Safdar Hashmi. The collection features over sixty artists covering various medians all from the country of India.
This exhibit is a great way to discuss how art can bring people of all cultures together and how we must be tolerant of others. The Sahmat Collective is on free at the Smart Museum until June 9, 2013. All exhibits and entry to the museum are free allowing everyone to view this amazing art.
Objective: To create a picture of how we are connected to one another through food, shared experiences, clothes, or simply being human beings. It opens up the discussion of how to be respectful and tolerant of others from different cultures.
Materials: White drawing paper
1. Place the materials on the table. Ask the child about a time where they experienced being with someone of a different culture. An example of this is family dinner or birthday party at a friend’s home or attending a Chinese New Year Parade if not Chinese.
2. Have the child draw a picture using the oil pastels to view others at the event and how they were able to see similarities and learn about the others culture through food, fun, or viewing their traditions.
3. Discuss the meaning of tolerance and why it is needed to have in our society to honor others differences and see we are all the same in the end.