Children attend Whittlesea library for art’s sake

Natasha, 4, and James, 7, enjoyed making artwork.​

By Pam Kiriakidis

Yarra Plenty Regional Library brought the National Gallery of Victoria, NGV, to Whittlesea on Tuesday through the NGV Kids on Tour program, which introduces art to children.

Since 2016, the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Whittlesea branch has partnered with NGV Kids on Tour to offer children and families hands-on activities and workshops surrounding art.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library programs manager Kate Hansen said children aged five to 12 were involved, creating animal collages, and drawing activities that related to the theme ‘Let’s Make Art’.

Some of the theme’s activities were inspired by leading European artists from the 20th century including Georges Braque, Remedios Varo, Pablo Picasso and Natalia Goncharova.

Ms Hansen said the program was a gateway for children to become familiar with making art and the library’s resources.

It’s important for kids to feel creative, to understand that art is subjective [and] it doesn’t matter how you produce it,” she said.

“It gives an opportunity to use different kinds of material that they might not use at school or in the library or at home.”

Ms Hansen said the partnership was also a unique opportunity for parents who were looking for holiday activities closer to home.

“There are barriers to access in terms of geographical locations and distance, also NGV might not be a space that people are familiar with, or comfortable attending or [with] the costs to go and see certain exhibitions, so it’s an introduction” she said.

Doreen mother of two Avanthi De Alwis said she appreciated the program for allowing working parents to spend time with their children in their neighborhood.

“Most parents are working either full-time or part-time, and it has to be a quick trip, so going to the city is a day that most parents don’t have the luxury of,” she said.

“Time is a real factor as a working mum…and the fact there are multiple programs running at different times in different libraries means you can pick and choose based on your particular calendar.”

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