We love the Ipswich Art Gallery. It’s only small but it’s by far one of my favourites. There are always great exhibitions that truly engage the children. Oh and no security guards that follow you around making you feel like your child can only enter if they have their hands tied behind their backs.
We went to visit their Sci-Art Exhibition last week and before we even got to the children’s gallery the kids were happily exploring.
These touch screen painting devices are often bought out for use at the gallery. The great thing about going to the gallery outside of peak hours is that the boys actually got to properly explore the devices before being urged to move aside and let someone else explore.
The collage tables are always a hit. We had to remind the kids that we hadn’t even made it to the exhibition yet, because they’d have sat creating for ages otherwise.
Ethan created a bow and arrow and later a quiver to carry all of his arrows.
Once in the exhibition gallery we began to explore Sci-Art. Around the edges of the room are artworks created by John Coleman. The children can interact with the art by pressing the button to make each function. Solar/Light panels are used to power most of them.
You can read more about the artist and his works around the exhibition.
This contraption caught the attention of all the kids. You pressed different buttons to raise different arms that were each connected to a paintbrush that would drop on a small easel and activate a coloured light on a main canvas.
Down the room spheres seem to emerge up through the floor and then crash through a wall where ping pong balls are shot out of the final sphere (you can imagine how much fun the kids had with that!). Every one of these spheres was unique and able to be climbed on and explored – some vibrated, some spoke to you and other spun around.
The activity that instantly caught everyone’s attention as we walked through the door was the floating ball centre. Out of each orange tube air blew pushing a styrofoam ball up and holding it in place.
The kids spent ages experimenting here.
A collage table was located nearby where we were encouraged to try and make alterations to the foam balls that still allowed them to float. Well we think that was the concept and if it wasn’t…well it’s what we did anyway.
Harder than you might think too!
The other popular activity was the spinning art table. Around the table were buttons and paper already place on circular spinning plates. To activate the wheel you had to press the button and add your artistic touches.
Oh we had a lot of fun experimenting with these. These are some examples that others had made. We couldn’t bear to part with ours.
We spent about two hours at this exhibition, exploring the artworks and creative opportunities. We bought new friends with us too as the Ipswich Art Gallery shouldn’t be kept to ourselves.
We’re looking forward to seeing what the gallery has for us to explore and do next time.
Ticking off Art, Technology and Design for this week. 🙂