Family Art Saturdays begin May 12 at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

By Michelle Garrett

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, May 6 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

Families can explore their inner artists at Family Art Saturdays at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art this summer.

Felicia Baca

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting a summer-time event that is family-centered and free.

The UMOCA Family Art Saturday series begins May 12. This admission-free event will take place on the second Saturday of each month through August. The open house is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and families are welcome to come and go at any time during the program.

Laura Hurtado, education associate at the UMOCA, called the program educational and "culturally expanding."

"Kids throughout the community come to the museum, make art and enjoy wandering through the galleries and participating with the interactive exhibitions," Hurtado said. "It makes for a great and wonderfully affordable day.”

Each month, Family Art Saturday will highlight one of the museum’s current exhibits. On May 12, families will experiment at printmaking, going hand-in-hand with the concepts in the "FAX" exhibit, which features art that has been copied or replicated. Children will be able to carve their own designs into a Styrofoam sheet, creating a plate they can then use to print several versions of their artwork to share with family and friends.

Family Art Saturday is an opportunity for children to use art materials they wouldn’t normally come across, Hurtado added.

“You can sit down and explore art in really new and different ways,” she said. “You’re not just coloring with crayons.”

Hurtado said this event can be fun for parents, too.

“Especially when people get older, they can be intimidated by art,” she said. “So this is not just for the kids, but for the parents. They can join their children and can mess around with these new kinds of materials and create something.”

Hurtado also said it’s important for children to have this kind of exposure to art at a young age.

“If you point to people who have a commitment to art, they will mention a former experience in their youth when they went to a museum or to Europe,” she said. “Having a profound experience with art in their youth creates a lifetime commitment to the arts.”

Family Art Saturdays will continue throughout the summer. In June, families will decorate a piano in harmony with the exhibition "Play Me, I’m Yours." In July, in connection with the exhibit during Days of ’47, children will have the opportunity to create their own flags that celebrate their personal identities and histories. In August, families can make and decorate accordion books to be used for personal journals, going along with the themes in the museum’s newest exhibition, "Cantastoria."

The museum is located at 20 S. West Temple. For more information, visit utahmoca.org.

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