Philadelphia Museum of Art Brings Back Interactive Family Program

Popular family program returns to PMA this summer with a new mobile application, festivals and workshops.

Kid painting

Photograph Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Graydon Wood

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is helping to raise a region of highbrows thanks to the reinstallation of Art Splash.

For its third year in a row, the popular family program offers a variety of activities that is engaging for both kids and grown-ups alike, and this year the museum is offering some new and improved perks.

Located just outside the galleries is a colorful room filled with an abundance of art supplies and a large chalkboard canvas that covers the entire back wall. Enter the Splash Studio. Before starting an artistic journey through the galleries, get those creative juices simmering with your own personal set of fibers and paints just like professionals use. Pop a squat at one of the many tables located in the studio and let your imagination run wild.

The studio and exhibition programs are themed to the alphabet and natural world. From now until July 12th kids and parents can explore the theme “R for Rivers.”

After completing your own version of Monet, head over to the exhibition inspired by the Museum’s children’s book, A is for Art Museum. This interactive display offers a kinesthetic experience that’ll keep the tots hooked. The art has been transformed into puzzles and games that are consistent with the alphabet and nature theme. Examine the art and match the animals in section “A”, build your own river in section “R,” and decorate a tree with beautiful magnetic leaves in the section “T.”

PMA is one of the largest art institutions in the nation and can be pretty overwhelming even for some of the most seasoned aesthetes. Yet, thanks to the magic of technology, the colossal collection now is now offered in a kid-friendly form. A team the museum’s staff developed an A is for Art Museum children’s app in conjunction with Art Splash.

Before venturing into the complex gallery maze, be sure to stop by the Splash Studio and pick up an iPad that features the A is for Art Museum app. With a little help from the device, families can embark on two-hour self-guided tours through the exhibits. Check out 26 works of art located throughout the museum and keyed to the letters of the alphabet.

“(The app) is very intuitive.” Says Sarah Bond, publisher of Philadelphia Family Magazine. “I love how it’s connected to blue tooth. It also gives parents great questions ask their kids about each individual painting.” One father mentioned that the app allowed his kid to be more engaged with the surrounding artwork and not distracted by the actual iPad itself.

Each iPad comes with a red cover and handle, making it convenient to carry around. When it comes time to break for lunch, the app will show exactly where the dining facilities are located as well as direct you to the closest bathroom, souvenir shop and more.

Return the device to the Splash Studio after journeying through the museum. If the galleries happened to spark some inspiration grab a paint brush and try to recreate a favorite work you’ve learned so much about.

Further Art Splash events include two family festivals throughout the summer. Sit back and enjoy a screening of a hand-drawn animated film Song of the Sea for the Rivers and Waterways Festival taking place Sunday, July 5th.  If music is more the family’s style join the Okee Dokee Brothers for a  live musical performance during The Great Outdoors Festival on Sunday, August 2nd. You can also raise mini-Picassos and enjoy quality time with the kids during the family art workshops being offered  on select Saturdays throughout the summer.

For more information on Art Splash, visit the Museum’s website.