national gallery of art summer stories in art

i’ve been wanting to attend the national gallery of art‘s stories in art series since winter, but i couldn’t find the motivation to get up and out on those cold winter weekends. now i know i’ve been missing out.

when the girls signed up they received an italian greeting — buongiorno! — and their n.g.a. passports. they were taking an art journey to italy!

after the girls joined their guide and group, they sat down in front a painting by an italian artist called giotto.

madonna and child by giotto

first the guide discussed a few facts about italy. then they examined the golden madonna and child painting. the guide talked about how it was done and showed us a few of the tools used in creating the painting. on top of that, she had an unfinished replica which our guide used to demonstrate how the painting was done in layers: paint upon gesso upon wood and for the golden areas gold upon clay upon wood.

next, she read the story “a boy named giotto” by paolo guarnieri, about a young boy who longs to study painting with a local artist.

A Boy Named Giotto by Paolo Guarnieri

finally the kids made a “golden” painting of their own, which is now hanging at home in our 25th avenue gallery.

while the program is for ages 4-7, many parents, including myself, brought younger ones. my 3-year old was able to pay attention to the story and participate in the art project afterward.

we just attended our second one yesterday and i was still very impressed with both the guides techniques for sharing their love of art and handling large groups of children. i also learned something along with my children, as usual. it may be helpful to bring crayons or colored pencils and paper for the young ones in case they get bored so they can create their own work of art while they wait.

have you attended nga’s stories and art? did you have a similar fabulous experience?


3 thoughts on “national gallery of art summer stories in art

  1. koko (i’ll refrain from calling you any other nickname in your public space), did the artist mention that the border around the “madonna” ‘s HIJAB has la ilaha ila Allah?
    someone pointed that out once at a Rihla i believe. look again. The artist thought the calligraphy was pretty. I don’t think he knew that it was the shahada. tee hee.

    1. katrina, the guide didn’t mention any arabic in the painting. and i didn’t notice it. inshaAllah next time i go back, i’ll try to take a closer look.

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