How Do Kids Connect to Art?
"I just like it," says Katherine Wys, age eleven. One of five girls enrolled in a camp at the Ann Arbor Art Center and briefly touring the Michigan Guild's Summer Art Fair on Main Street last year, she's stopped briefly at the booth of June and Dennis Tressler to admire a painting of a cute shaggy cat amidst cute shaggy dogs.
"It looks a little like Bubbles [the Wys family dog] without a haircut," her friend Thea Rowe elaborates. Their classmate Grace Evans-Golden adds that she likes "any of the cats--I'm a cat person." The girls were also drawn to paintings of a squirrel and a kingfisher "because they are pretty."
"We both love squirrels," Katherine and Thea say together.
All the kids under the age of twelve that we talked to liked artwork that features animals. "I love dragonflies," Xailia Claunch, eleven, explains while standing in front of one piece. Then she continues, while standing in front of another, "I love dragons."
They also favor bright colors and are wowed by the iridescent photographs of Sean and Brian Malone depicting northern lights and other landscapes and sky-scapes of northern Michigan. When asked what they like about the photos, exclamations come from all sides: "These are really cool!" "They're amazing!" "The colors!"