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Museum program combines art, family

Jason Liu, 6, of Great Neck, takes a

Jason Liu, 6, of Great Neck, takes a closer look at Rimer Cardillo's photo-silkscreens of an owl in the Nassau County Museum of Art during the Family Sundays program. (Oct. 9, 2011) (Credit: Ann Luk)

Freeport’s Ivan Santiago, 48, wanted something a little more intellectually stimulating for his sons than video games this past Sunday afternoon. He found what he was looking for in the Family Sundays program at Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, where parents and children have the opportunity to create exhibition-inspired artwork after taking an interactive tour of the museum.

“They love art,” said Santiago, 48, of his sons, Marc, 17, Evan, 15, and Bryan, 9.

The tour was led by  docent Estelle Henrich, 81. As she guided the families through the works of Goya, Cardillo and contemporary artists, she kept the children guessing about the artwork by asking questions. To continue holding the children’s attention, she let them touch samples of different art mediums found in the exhibit.

“It’s great that they get to understand a little about art history,” said Tony Filosa, 42, of North Bellmore, who brought his three children.

After the tour came the arts and crafts segment. Filosa’s daughter Mackenzie, 6, decorated a paper mask; daughter Gabrielle, 10, made a small book; and son Ryan, 13, drew a character of his own creation, “Robo Frog.”

The children are given a choice of three projects that are similar to what is currently on display in the exhibits, explained Lauren Ferro, 30, the family program workshop facilitator.

This past Sunday, the three choices of projects were masks, because of a mask theme in the Goya exhibit; the study of insects in detail, inspired by Cardillo’s work; and abstract pattern designs, inspired by contemporary artists like Manuel Esnoz.

“The kids like the masks a lot,” says Ferro, adding, “It’s something extra for Halloween.”

The projects act as a focus for the children, but they are given the freedom to branch out with their creativity.  Eli Steingard, 5,  used his imagination to turn his mask into an Alaskan butterfly that could survive the cold.

“We have examples for them, but often the children will take it to a whole new level,” said Laura Lynch, the director of education. “We love to see multiple interpretations, and sometimes they are more creative than what we can come up with.”

The Family Sundays program at the Nassau County Museum of Art starts at 1 p.m. For more on that or other museum events, visit www.nassaumuseum.org or call 516-484-9338.

Tags: Roslyn Harbor , Nassau County , Museum of Art , Family Sundays

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