Many art enthusiasts from all walks of life are drawn to Santa Fe, NM. It’s famous as an art hub with strong traditions, and it’s alluring, remote desert location is also great for outdoor activities. The landscape views are inspiring, and that has certainly played a role in developing the city’s vibrant art community. It might not be explicitly part of your child support duties after a divorce, but if you want to support your child’s interest in art, take time out to bring them on a trip to the beautiful southwest.
Art galleries are often considered a destination for older people, but there are some museums here that will interest children too. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture can appeal to a kid’s fascination with the frontier days, and end up giving them a new perspective on native people. And the Museum of International Folk Art is considered among the best, with the largest collection of its kind in the world.
Research by the Smithsonian Institution has indicated a strong positive correlation between early learning and museum exposure in children. It’s likely that the freeform and interactive learning from exhibits and displays has more positive long term benefits in developing creativity and self-expression, compared to the more structured and rigid environment in a classroom setting.
Kids also benefit from exposure to art. The act of creation using common art supplies is one of the easiest ways for a child to express their feelings, well before they start to care about the perceived quality or skill of their work. And with art, the viewer is as much involved in the experience as the creator. Going to an art museum and appreciating the works of others provides an opportunity to have a sort of nonverbal conversation with the artist – and this is something both adults and children can benefit from.
Fostering an interest in art from different cultures can also help any individual to be more open-minded and appreciative of diversity. With children, images can create a lasting impression before they even possess the linguistic faculties to describe what they saw or how they felt. Because of how strongly an artist expresses themselves, their background and cultural heritage can come across without the need for words.
Perhaps the most important thing about taking your kid to the museum is the opportunity to learn about them – and for them to learn about you. When we are young, a lot of interaction with adults is about being told what to do, and what’s right from wrong. This is important, of course, but it can leave some children feeling uncertain about when they can speak their mind in the presence of their elders.
A work of art creates a reaction, inspires feeling, and makes you think – and is always subject to interpretation. People form their opinions on art based largely on their own experiences and background. Asking your child how an artwork made them feel is a chance to engage them naturally in thoughtful conversation, where you both express your thoughts on a particular piece and listen to one another.
It’s important for people of all ages to appreciate art, and especially so for children whose learning foundations are built during their early formative years. Take them somewhere out of the ordinary to help them develop self-expression, an understanding of different perspectives, and for you to be a part of that and help to shape their world.