Time to get out of kiddie art business | AspenTimes.com

Time to get out of kiddie art business

Dear Editor:As a long time “local” artist and a founder of the Aspen Art Museum and a parent who raised two kids in this valley, I have to comment on the current flap over the museum’s decision to get out of the kiddie art show business: It’s about time!I wish everyone would just relax and give our new director at the art museum some slack. I wholeheartedly agree with the decision to move the kids show out of the museum and off the annual schedule. That show is not an educational tool. The best art education comes from seeing first-rate art in the flesh. Getting kids to the shows at the museum with a great teacher or parent to talk about the work is by far a more art educational experience than hanging some school project effort on the wall with 300 other kids. The kids show has always been to me more about adults simple-minded effort to say, “See how much we care about our young artists!” That’s a bogus attempt at art education and more a feel-good effort by parents and teachers who evidently could use a healthy dose of what art education really involves. How many parents take their kids to that show only and never go to another exhibit at the museum?Let the kids show move to a more appropriate venue (school?) and let the museum spend their valuable resources bringing the community some thing of value for all of its audience, kids included. The concept of a young curators program is a brilliant idea and will do more to turn youngsters onto art than having a funky watercolor pinned up with 500 others.Oh yeah, and does anyone think the Aspen Music Festival and School should devote a week or so in the summer to 6-year-old kids jammin’ at the tent? Could be real educational.Dick CarterBasalt

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