The Children’s Museum of Manhattan displays fun installations

A two-story structure wrapped in murals, a surreal arrangement of the home’s fragmented interiors, and a neon pink bay furnished with tree sculpture are among the fixtures displayed – ready for hands-on exploration – in the third iteration. Inner Art: Create, Climb, Collaborate At the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM).

Presented on the ground floor of CMOM’s current (but not forever) home on the Upper West Side, the exhibit comes after two years of enforced isolation and social distancing, in which children yearn for socializing and interaction “in a physically immersive environment, free from the “distance bar” and traditional barriers. Others, David Rios, director of public programming at CMOM and curator of contemporary art, said in a press release Inner Art: Creativity, Climbing, and Collaborations 12 featured artists have been commissioned by the museum to design interactive structures that promote play and creativity along with murals, paintings, and other site-specific works.

Inner Art: Create, Climb, Collaborate It provides visitors with unrestricted access to beautiful, intricate and challenging works of art; for working artists with unique styles and stories; As well as opportunities to experiment with various materials and methods.”

future leadership Written by Ebony Bolt (January Stewart / Courtesy CMOM)

Anchoring the exhibition is city ​​cloth, a multi-storey installation designed by studio BARarchitekten in Berlin. The structure plan mimics that of building a mixed-use community. idea city ​​cloth It first came to Lizzie Martin, director of exhibitions at CMOM, after seeing children interact with a similar installation at a children’s museum in Germany.

“So when we had the opportunity to get this new installation here at CMOM, we reached out to the architects in Berlin (BARarchitekten) and were able to ask them ‘Can we replicate it here in New York?'” ” , Tell AN.

The rest, as they say, was history.

After extensive cooperation with BARarchitekten and input from kiddos, the two-storey structure was realized. city ​​cloth allocate areas for reading and playing; An entrance leads into a room with a bright mural by Francisco Donoso. On the first floor, acrylic murals cover three walls of an “artist’s studio” where visitors can color and draw on the murals with crayons. Chilean-born artist Catalina Schleibner created the murals by piecing together scraps from Disney coloring books from her childhood in the nineties. The collage was then enlarged to fit the dimensions of the studio. Schleibner, who is also a preschool teacher, drew from her experience working with young children. The artist said AN Installation of her piece in the Children’s Museum “Dream”.

Baby sitting on pink pillows
desire Written by Aya Rodriguez-Izumi (January Stewart / Courtesy of CMOM)

On one side of the wooden volume facade is another interactive mural, future leadership By Ebony Bolt, where visitors are invited to color with a ballpoint pen. Also installed on file city ​​cloth The facade is a mosaic of brightly colored acrylic pieces by Armita Raafat, who drew inspiration from muqarnas, an elaborate decorative tool in Islamic art and architecture. Many outstanding examples of muqarnas can be found in Iran, where Raafat originated. The artist reinterprets the historical art form through contemporary materials, with the contribution of her seven-year-old daughter.

“The kids are very creative,” Raafat said, noting that she wanted to create a piece that would get the kids engaged with their “creativity and their own storytelling.”

Similar to Raafat, Aya Rodriguez-Izumi also drew from her own childhood experiences growing up abroad to visualize desirea sculptural piece that takes cues from the Japanese tradition of hanging whatever Wooden plaques engraved with wishes in shrines. desire CMOM invites visitors to write their own wishes on the wood panels, which are then hung on the tree-like installation.

“I have always been interested in getting more people to share different societal experiences,” Rodriguez-Izumi said. “A big part of this is that people come in and read Other Wishes.”

desire is in the third iteration; One of its predecessors was installed at PULSE in Miami Beach in 2017.

Also shown as part of Inner Art: Create, Climb, Collaborate It is a design by Madrid-born artist Isidro Blasco, which consists of a quirky accumulation of fragmented interiors. While the stark white housing accumulation (except for a few additions of streamer) A dramatic contrast to the rest of the show, it’s a fitting pick that reflects the customizability at the forefront of many of the other projects on offer.

white sculpture
housing accumulation by Isidro Blasco. (January Stewart/Courtesy CMOM)

“It’s like a canvas for anyone to bring out their sense of home or place,” Blasco explained.

The piece is also strikingly surreal. Blasco replicated different corners of his house and brought the cast parts to the museum.

“I started playing with them (the individual pieces) like a puzzle,” Blasco said. AN. “I’m starting to find connections and the best way to fit them in.” The result is also an attractive structure that children can climb on. Despite its precarious appearance, the structure is quite stable, held in place by several vertical support beams, which double as handles for children to grab.

Child climbs from an angular structure
housing accumulation by Isidro Blasco. (January Stewart/Courtesy CMOM)

Other programs offered alongside the exhibition include guided art sessions and activities that allow visitors to interact with the individual pieces – and with each other.

“Eventually, we learned that the kids need to be together again, especially now… they have to be connected, to reactivate the connection. [and] Rios said.

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