Kids in an art gallery? One doesn’t imagine taking a young child to an art gallery, hoping that they will be engaged and stimulated, but Newcastle Art Gallery has found a way to do just that, by bringing professional
Held every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Art Cart is a free art program for children of all ages, in which children create and experience art right within the gallery itself. Each weekend’s program is inspired or directly related to current exhibitions held at the gallery.
We popped in for a session that was inspired by the 2019 Kilgour Prize Exhibition and its winner Blak Douglas. His winning piece called The Queen of her own stage, depicts an actress and songstress named Ms Ursula Yovich, standing posing on a chair, and with it being displayed at the gallery, children were taken to the original painting and shown the work.
They were then asked to create a piece using pencils and paper, drawing their own figures on a chair. They were also asked to consider whether their figure would be seated or standing, and why they were doing so. And then it was on, it was time to get the creative juices flowing!
Art Cart is a fantastic way to expose your child to the gallery and the awesome art it holds, allowing them to experience a creative process in its simplest forms.
Art Cart facilitator and gallery educator Louise Chapman explained, “Art Cart allows children to engage in a creative process that is in a stress-free environment, where the end-product isn’t as important as the creative journey itself. Each session is inspired by a different artist or specific artform, many times being displayed in the gallery itself, and this allows children to have professional inspiration and a personal interpretation on whatever is currently on exhibition.”
Each weekend children get to play with different materials and mediums such as drawing, painting and sculpting.
Parents are encouraged to sit and collaborate with the children, with most parents even creating their own piece, because let’s be honest here, it’s good fun! Children and parents alike are creating without pressure and the process is a free and creative one.
Louise Chapman added, “Art created in a structured environment such as a school can sometimes feel rather confronting to create, but at the gallery, we have opened the space to allow a non-structured, free-play within the arts for children to experience art and grow within.”
It also doesn’t hurt knowing that it has long been researched and proven that the arts help children in their academic forums too. Studies have shown that children involved in the creative arts have better mathematics, language and problem-solving skills!
Art Cart at Newcastle Art Gallery at is free and runs from
You need not bring anything other than a creative mind; all art supplies are provided for you and your child.
For more information, visit the Newcastle Art Gallery website.
Jenna moved to Newcastle from South Africa 3 years ago, which has allowed her to experience the city with a fresh perspective. As mum to a wonderfully wild daughter who shares her passion for fun and adventure, they spend their time getting to know the city mostly on foot and bicycle, which affords Jenna an opportunity to bond with the city more intimately. Follow Jenna’s adventures on her Instagram account ‘Newy Kind of Life’ in which she shares her passion for Newcastle and its lifestyle through her photography and writing.