They had me at free. Free is a good thing. Free means that we are willing to take chances and brave lousy traffic and worse weather just so that we can hang out somewhere different. The Museum of Contemporary Art is different and almost always overlooked by the casual tourist. Although wedged inbetween Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, it does not draw the same interest as the Shed or Field Museum or the Art Institute. The latter of those has that famous dot painting (which Seurat actually first titled “That Painting in Ferris Buellers Day Off”) and a whole bunch of other vintage classics from the world’s golden era of art (lets say a few hundreds years B.C. to 1960). The MCA, as it is called by those in the know is a lot more modern, more risk taking, more….. out there.
OK, I am not the biggest fan of modern art. Henna loves it. Corey is somewhere in-between. But every second Saturday of the month, the place is free just as long as you come with at least one kid or, at the very least, a tiny adult dressed as a kid. And on Family Day, the museum provides way cool hands on art exhibits led by resident artists who are all approachable, patient, and good with kids.
Amazingly they do it completely different each month. The theme yesterday was “drawing” and they offered a chance to contribute to a post-it note mural, had a team of poets armed with typewriters who punched out poems based on whatever your kid presented to them (we actually missed out on that one thanks to our typical late start to the day), and a whole lot of yarn and some temporary fence posts. Weaving was never so much fun and the only negative was some crazy out of control boy with a pair of safety scissors. How bad of a parent do you have to be to let your kid run crazy through a field of art yarn with a pair of scissors?
Another fan favorite on Family Day are the projected trippy short videos and free snacks in the basement viewing area. Last month we spent close to an hour vegged out on their comfy chairs, sipping on boxes of apple juice and munching away on some Pirate Booty. Families came and went and we stayed memorized by the stop motion photography and cool beats. No segment lasted more than five minutes so even if we did not always get it, there was always the chance we would enjoy the next offering. As a wise poet once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Noel