by Lanni Solochek
Free Family Fun Day has been an annual tradition for the Arizona State University Art Museum for over a decade now. Each year, the event draws in families from around the valley to participate in hands-on activities, visit educational booths, see local performances, and experience a featured exhibit. In the past, exhibits have included Gadgets and Gizmos, Seeing Ourselves, Visual Melodies, and more. I spoke with the museum’s Curator of Education, Andrea Feller, about this year’s Family Fun Day featuring the Collecting Arizona exhibit.
1. What are some of the highlight activities for families to look forward to this weekend?
Family Fun Day this year is all about animals. We will have reptiles from the Phoenix Herpetological Society at the museum, there will be fun animal crafts to make and take home, and balloon artists will be on hand to make animals and artists will be here giving demonstrations on various art techniques. And the best part of the day is that everything is free.
2. Can you tell me a little bit about Collecting Arizona?
This year’s exhibition is Zoomorphic: Selections for the ASU Art Museum Collection and it is up through August 9, 2013. This exhibition explores how animals are pets, companions, forces of nature, and symbols of greater things. They provoke many feelings in people, from affection and tenderness to outright fear. Throughout the exhibition, artists combine human feelings with animal images to create curious, zoomorphic portraits of both – in print, painting and ceramics.
3. Why do you think Family Fun Day has been so successful in the past?
Family Fun Day has been so successful because it offers something for every member of the family. From theme related art-making activities to performers and exploring the exhibitions, everyone can find something to do and enjoy. Our partnerships with local organizations also help so much; this year we are working with KAET PBS/8, Valley Metro, Fairy Tale Brownies, FLAVOR and Junior League of Phoenix.
4. Why is it important to educate children about art?
I believe the arts provide a great foundation for any child’s education and Family Fun Day allows families to learn together. Art teaches creativity, problem-solving skills, and it helps develop a sense of craftsmanship and identity.
ASU Art Museum’s Family Fun Day is this Saturday, July 13th, from 10 am to 2 pm with free admission.