Today we headed to Bangor. We live about an hour and a half away. Conductor needs some orthodontia work and so we'll probably be heading this way a lot. I didn't want to loose an entire day of school & I knew none of us would want to do any when we got home so I put together a little field trip.
We went to the University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA) right in downtown Bangor. The boys have only been to one other art museum. We did a tour of the Colby College Art Museum a couple years ago. That was much larger and we did a guided tour. The UMMA is small. It has one large exhibit room and another smaller one.
I did find it amusing when we arrived. Granted, I have three boys but I will say they are generally very well behaved. We talk beforehand about appropriate behavior such as no running or yelling, appropriate things to where we'll be going. Overall they do very well. I could see the people there get visible nervous though.
The gentleman behind the desk was very nice and gave us three scavenger hunts to use to help make it more enjoyable. I had printed a few things off to try from the educational resources right on their website, but this was easier to do and would keep them engaged the entire time. It was a double sided sheet of paper with a small piece of different paintings or sculptures and the boys had to find the artist and title for each one.
The smaller room off the foyer had sculptures in it done by David Isenhour. They were definitely surreal. He uses casts of real body parts to create them. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take photos of anything in the museum. My favorite sculpture was right in the entryway. It looked like a tree but the bottom of the trunk had feet coming out & the branches had hands. Then there were whimsical looking birds perched on the branches.
In the larger room were paintings by Meg Chase - some were just enormous! There were also watercolors by Gerald Immonen. However, the favorites for all of us were the sculptures made entirely of clothespins well with some conduit and wire to hold them together. Those, however, blended in so your eye tended to skip past that and you just saw the clothespins. I actually had one of the men who work there start through the exhibit - while we were still checking out the Meg Chase paintings, double back, and ask that I make sure the boys didn't touch anything especially the clothespin structures. They were standing quietly looking at a painting at the time. I just smiled and said I would. Next time I'm going to make sure they are all wearing their unsocialized homeschooler t-shirts.
Overall it made for an interesting trip. We obviously have not done a lot of art observation. There were some Winslow Homer paintings there as well that we were able to check out. Although, those made a bigger impact on me than the boys - at this point anyway. We may or may not come back after the exhibits change at some point, but considering it was a free field trip - it was very much worth it.
I snapped this photo outside looking down in to the closed garden area.