Frequently I like to attend cultural events in order to extend my understanding about the world around me. These events can also spark ideas for activities or field trips for my students. Therefore, I took a mini field trip to Newark Museum. Often times the museum is a great place to take the kids on a family field trip. The best part is if you are a resident of Newark, you get in free! Teachers, just show your NJEA card and pay a discounted rate.
On this particular day (3/3/13), I attended the African Cosmos exhibit that is running now through to Aug. 11, 2013. And I must say, what a great exhibit! This exhibit takes a look at the influence of astronomical observations on African art. The first thing that greets you in the main exhibit hall is this huge circular structure. Upon closer inspection, it is a sculpture of a snake eating its tail. This particular piece is titled Rainbow Serpent (I found out the name later when taking a guided tour through the exhibit). It is entirely made out of plastic gas cans despite its appearance which makes it look like it is constructed out of metal.
Other selective pieces on display are pictographs, wood carving sculptures, and wood masks. The tour guide was very informative and even talked about the influential use of African art mechanisms among other artists (i.e. Picasso). In addition, he pointed out several aspects of African art forms, such as the use of symmetry, scarification patterns, and the use of jagged lines to represent the connection between heaven and earth. The tour takes about an hour but is so worth the time. Furthermore, it is completely appropriate for children (saw quite a few with their parents).
So check it out, it is not too late. Besides, you never know what else you may happen upon at the museum. This particular trip afforded me the opportunity to also attend a free choir concert.