How Do Kids Connect to Art?
He describes how in 2011 a boy maybe twelve or thirteen came into his booth with his mother. "He looked in that careful way kids look, they left, and then an hour later they returned. Mom asked, 'Did you find one you like?' He walked over to one, pointed it out, and said, 'Yes, this one.' She looked at it and said she liked it, too. The mom was looking at it they way adults do--the color, size, the details. But her kid was looking at the intricacies of how it works. Soon I was packing up a $1,200 piece to load into her car.
"You have to be captured by a work of art," he notes. "Kids will touch my work by sticking a finger into the moving water. Adults might try to grasp or lift the whole thing, spilling water all over. So I say it's OK for kids to touch but not adults."
Belchatovski recalls that at a fair in Lubbock, Texas, back in the eighties, a twelve-year-old girl lingered in his booth for about an hour, and she asked for his card. He asked her why she wanted it. She said she would buy something later, when she was older. She tracked him down when she was in her twenties and bought a piece. "All the information on my card had changed," he says, "but she found me with Google."
Glassmaker Chris Belleau started his career when he was only thirteen as an apprentice to a potter. "One of the reasons kids like my work," he thinks, "is that kids love nature, and I use nature as inspiration and model for much of my work. Flowers of all sorts, fruits and vegetables, fish, octopus, turtles, frogs, crabs, and lobsters, glass sculpture of waves and flames."
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