Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Have a family encounter with art at the Frye Art Museum's Community Day

How do you get kids to connect with art? By having them think about the same questions that artists think about, says Michelle Cheng, Director of Education & Community Partnerships at the Frye Art Museum.

For example, one of the kids’ activities at the Frye’s Community Day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, ties in with an exhibition by Seattle sculptors Francesca Lohmann and Rob Rhee, who both employ forces beyond their control (such as gravity, time and biological growth) to create results they didn’t predict. The activity has kids draw with watercolor pencils, then use droppers to streak the papers with water, then move the water around, and maybe roll marbles through it, and see what happens.

In other words: play with it. Turns out play isn’t just a child’s full-time job, it’s also something that artists do.

Ingrid Langston, head of communications at the Frye, says kids’ interest in experimenting and risk-taking helps them understand things like abstract sculpture.

“I think a lot of times kids have an easier connection with art because they aren’t hung up on the big concepts,” she says.

Kids and families will get a lot of opportunities to make these connections on Community Day at this large and eclectic First Hill museum, which doesn’t charge admission.

Along with art-making making activities, and there will be activity sheets, and a family-oriented tour from the museum’s rotunda at 1 p.m. Partner organizations will be on hand spreading the word about other aspects of Seattle’s creative scene. TeenTix will be there, and the Seattle International Film Festival will screen family-friendly short films. Musicians will perform.

The community day, one of three scheduled for this year, is part of a drive at the Frye to expand its youth programming beyond the Storytelling + Art events it holds at 10:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. Cheng hopes families will come to the museum more, and take advantage of its free exhibits and events to get to know the local art scene.

The next community day is on Saturday, May 9, and will coincide with the exhibit “Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem.”


The Frye Art Museum is at 704 Terry Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday. Free admission.




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Fiona Cohen