My husband and I have been married for 30 years next month. Not sure how 30 years have passed – seriously feels like just a few years. However, I see the years in our children who range in age from 15 to 33. It is difficult to ignore 30 years passing when we now have grandchildren and are sandwiched within 4 generations.
Once our oldest two children were old enough and my husband had returned to college for his Masters degree – he took a course in art. I really don’t recall the name of the course but what it did was prompt us as a family going to as many museums and art shows as we could over the course of a year. At first I thought the children (who were old enough to go but still quite young) would hate the experience. I do recall them being not too thrilled at our first event. But after that they were always excited to go.
Our first event was at night, when it was near their bedtime and it was a big event. Imagine bringing young children to a “party” in a museum where they can’t touch anything, have to remain calm and behave, but are expected to have fun… After that we tried to stay away from events. Museums worked well though. We could go through at our own pace, determine easily if the children needed a break and when they were ready to move on.
Our favorite museum was the Slater Museum in Norwich. There are so many statues and not just paintings etc… The statues absolutely kept them mesmerized and it was at that point when they became hooked. To this day they love museums.
Then our youngest two children came along. We didn’t set out to expose them to the arts. They both have special needs and having them in places where they cannot touch things can sometimes be more of a challenge than we have the energy to take on. However, they have many medical appointments and when they do I try to make the time as educational as I can. The appointments are far from home and I research museums etc… prior to our trips and we make a day of it. Often we end up at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford CT.
Additionally we have spent a great deal researching art online. Our favorites are by far paintings by Leonardo da Vinci such as the famous Isleworth Mona Lisa and just about anything about Greece.
I don’t know if any of them will express an interest in art or teaching but I do feel their interests in things like music had to have stemmed from this exposure to arts – which also often included science museums, music, sports and so much more. I know for sure it taught them an appreciation for native americans, early settlers, and world history. These are things that I never really became interested in until I was an adult. Just goes to show you – exposure makes all the difference.