This summer, I am volunteering at the Johnson Heritage Post art gallery in Grand Marais, MN. Art galleries are enjoyable for all ages and this one is no exception. Sometimes, to include children in such an experience, parents need a few suggestions. The free printable in this post has generic questions parents could ask at any art gallery. It is easy to engage children by asking questions they are able to answer. It doesn’t matter if they (or you) know a thing about the gallery or the artist! Just start by looking. Children have to be reminded not to touch items and to walk slowly. Remind them that voice levels should be rather low, like at the library. The visit can be a special experience.
Art Museum Questions to Ask Children
The very young child could be asked about the colors and shapes in the pictures. Older children could be asked if they see primary, secondary, or complementary colors. The art docents at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts always ask the visiting children to describe what they see in the picture. Children have amazing answers!
Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
The Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery’s west wing is dedicated to the original artwork of Anna C. Johnson, mother of the donor of the Gallery, Lloyd K. Johnson. Because the building is a replica of a log cabin, children could also be asked what they notice about the structure itself. Many art galleries are housed in unique buildings, and similar questions could be asked in other locations.
As the JHP was once a log cabin, the wiring was added later. Children and adults like to notice the unique places of the plug-ins.
Another feature that may interest some children is the special lighting in art galleries. If you have a child interested in such things, that child could count all the lights. JHP goes through an amazing amount of light bulbs each year!
Some parents who walked through the building pushed a child in a stroller, which was a good idea for a toddler. Other parents visited to inspire their daughter, who was going home to work on her painting, another excellent idea. Here is a free printable set of generic questions that may be asked in any art gallery.