Photos, story by Lou Perri
Returning for its fourth year, Art Splash, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s popular summer family program, opened on July 1 in conjunction with Creative Africa, a season of five exhibitions of African art, both historic and contemporary, currently on view in the Perelman Building.
Spanning 10 weeks, Art Splash offers a dynamic set of programs focused on engaging families, including gallery explorations, hands-on workshops, guided tours, performances and family festivals. A special family friendly menu offered in the Perelman Café and a complimentary shuttle to bring visitors to and from the main building will be available through Labor Day, offering visitors of all ages a memorable visit to the museum this summer.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, notes, “We have long recognized the Museum’s potential as a place for creative play. Art Splash is our invitation to all families to share in this experience together. Since we initiated this program four years ago, it has grown substantially, enabling us to welcome more children and their caregivers each year. We are particularly pleased to have the continued support of PNC, which shares our goal of bringing communities together through the arts.”
In the Splash Studio, visitors can participate in projects that will change throughout the summer and explore themes such as Travel, Design, Build, Print, and Sculpt. Highlights include creating masks inspired by the Kota figures on display in the exhibition Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art, and designing colorful textiles similar to those featured in Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage.
Families can build paper structures based on the innovative projects as seen in The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community, and immerse themselves in his vibrant site-specific installation, Colorscape. Suspended from the Skylit Atrium ceiling, Colorscape offers a playful interactive environment, evocative of the sounds of daily life in Philadelphia as well as the architect’s home village of Gando in Burkina Faso.
Paula Fryland, PNC Regional President for Philadelphia, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey, said: “PNC aims to help local residents gain access to the arts, and to help arts organizations expand their audiences. We can think of no better fit for us than Art Splash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”
“At Art Splash, we have something for everyone, big and small” said Emily Schreiner, The Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “Whether by joining a class or a hands-on workshop, or taking a relaxing stroller tour with baby in tow, kids of all ages can enjoy creative time together with their families and make discoveries along the way.”