By KYLEE RYERS
As your child grows up, it is important to encourage creative skills like painting and drawing. They can not only produce beautiful pictures to be proud of, but studies have shown that art is a very valid way of expressing feelings and emotions. Encouraging your child to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush and get inspired is easy, especially with so many great resources in Nebraska. You can enjoy learning together and your child can build upon their techniques through regular drawing and painting.
Take some museum field trips
In Nebraska, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to art galleries and museums. A trip to the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney, Neb. can be really inspirational. MONA exhibitions tell the story of Nebraska, through sculpture, pottery, paintings and drawings through the ages. They feature artists that have worked, lived or trained in Nebraska, such as Phyllis Aspen and Ruth Buol – true homegrown talent.
The Sheldon Museum of Art located on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln is another interesting gallery to visit. It focuses on art from the 19th Century onwards. The Pop Art collections, in particular, are great fun and can show your children how diverse paintings can really be. Some of the artists featured at the museum are Robert Motherwell, Georgia O’Keefe, Hans Hoffman and Aaron Douglas. They all have a unique perspective and a story to tell.
Spend time sketching outside
Being outside in nature has been proven to inspire and enhance creativity. A study done by researchers at the University of Kansas and the University of Utah found that there was a 50% rise in creative potential after a group of students spent time out in nature. Sketching outside gives your child a great opportunity to study plants and animals. They can also spend time practicing drawing and painting skills in changing light and weather.
It is a good idea to work on different subjects whilst you are out. For instance, take your child to Lauritzen Gardens (100 Bancroft St, Omaha, NE 68108) and encourage them to have a go at drawing the plants and flowers. Or head to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and study how the animals move. Encourage your child to sketch different types of fur or scales, noting how they fit around the body muscles.
Join an art class
If your child really wants to improve their artistic skills, then taking a local art class can help with honing in technique and vision. Most local colleges offer an art class, or you can head to one of Nebraska’s museums for weekend courses and after-school classes. For instance, Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha offers group tuition for children over the age of 13. This includes watercolor, acrylic, oil painting and basic drawing.
Encouraging your child’s artistic talent is a journey that you can take together. It is a wonderful way of building creativity through practical skill.