Being green: It's easy at UVA Museum

It’s spring. Luminous shades of green are everywhere. This Sunday they are especially prominent at the University of Virginia Art Museum where the Young Friends of the Museum are sponsoring the annual Spring Family Festival with a theme of— you guessed it — Shades of Green.
Focusing on the current exhibit Re-Imagining Ireland: Irish Art Today, the festival offers families the chance to experience art in a new way.
Taking advantage of the warm spring green, most of the day’s activities will take place outdoors in the garden in front of the museum. Kids can create their own shades of green— and blue and red and orange, too— by painting a flowerpot in which they will plant some growing things. The Blue Ridge Irish Music School will be out there performing– and they’ll also be teaching Irish dance to the adventurous.
Artist Dan Mahon will lead kids in the creation of a collaborative sculpture of stacked stones resembling a cairn that’s designed to help young artists connect with the environment and see how art intersects with the natural world. Jennifer Van Winkle, an artist and arts educator who runs the museum’s summer arts camps, will be leading other arts activities in the courtyard.
Inside the museum, kids can help their parents explore the exhibit of Irish art with a scavenger hunt. Limericks serve as clues to finding interesting elements in the paintings on display.
And what would a festival be without food? Lemonade and cookies are on the menu of festive fare, and the folks from Ben and Jerry’s will be in the courtyard scooping up their own brand of cool treats.
This is an outreach effort that seeks to get young people interested in the world of art. “We want kids to be inspired,” says Mike Alexander, the museum’s director of annual giving, who is coordinating the affair. “We want them to create their own works of art and have fun doing it.”

The Spring Family Festival takes place at the University of Virginia Art Museum May 4 from 2-4:30pm. The event is free and open to the public, but kids need to sign up ahead of time. 155 Rugby Road. 243-8874. www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.

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