EdVenture’s New Exhibit Gives Kids Interactive Look at Famed Painter’s Works

September 9, 2008

Getting Creative with Chagall

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Children can create mosaics, weave tapestries, paint with touch screen technology and even conduct symphonies in EdVenture’s new exhibit Chagall for Children opening Saturday, September 13.  The exhibit features reproductions of 15 masterpieces from Marc Chagall, a French painter from the early 20th century.  Children can explore their creativity by interacting with elements that expand on the style, form, color of each piece of art. Chagall for Children will run through January 4, 2009.

The exhibit features 15 multi-sensory exploration stations, each incorporating a high-quality reproduction of one of Chagall’s works. Each piece of artwork includes an interactive audio recording that gives the visitor information about the piece. After learning some background information about the work, guests can take part in a hands-on activity that supports the art.

For example, a fabric rendition of Chagall’s “The Rooster” lets children rearrange the bird’s colorful tail feathers. A bas-relief of “The Birthday” allows visitors to make rubbings of the artwork to take home. “The Poultry Yard” offers various soft-sculpture animal parts that children can mix and match to create their own fantastical animals.

“Young children immediately pick up on the fanciful and unusual aspects of Chagall’s work,” said Catherine Horne, president and CEO of EdVenture. “He really appeals to children’s senses of wonder and fantasy.”


EdVenture will feature painting activities in the Studio at Art Alley, adjacent to the exhibit.  Activity times are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2-3:30 p.m.  Sundays 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday – Friday 2-3:30 p.m.   Limited space.  Free with paid admission.

And for two performances on Sunday, October 12 at 1:30 and 2 p.m., local performer Marvin Bienstock will present Jewish folk tales and songs.  His appearance at EdVenture is sponsored by the Katie and Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center, Michel G. Moore and Toni M. and Sam Elkins.

Chagall for Children is designed to engage visitors in the exploration of both art and the artist. Specific art principles such as color, composition, light and texture are showcased in this unique exhibit. The exhibit was developed by Kohl Children’s Museum in 1996 and has recently been displayed at the Manhattan Children’s Museum, Houston Children’s Museum and Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.

At different stations throughout the exhibit, guests can create mosaics, weave tapestries, use
touch screens to digitally alter Chagall’s masterpieces, conduct symphonies, and through the
magic of video, they can even insert themselves into one his paintings. After exploring all the
artwork, visitors can relax in a reading nook stocked with children’s books about Chagall’s life and

Born July 7, 1887, in Belarus, Russia, Marc Chagall is one of the preeminent artists of the twentieth century. Though his work is difficult for some to categorize, Chagall created on the fringes of such popular art movements as avant-garde, cubist and fauvism and took inspiration from Belarusian folk life and images from his childhood. His use of highly vivid colors communicates a sense of happiness and optimism to many viewers. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Chagall created a series of large-scale projects involving public spaces and important civic and religious buildings. Chagall passed away in 1985 at the age of 97.

“Chagall for Children is a rich and rewarding interactive experience,” said Susan Bonk, director of education and exhibits at EdVenture.  “Not only are children exposed to the powers of the imagination and fantasy through the life and work of a master artist, the exhibit also allows children to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of all forms of artistic expression.”

Representations of some of Chagall’s most famous works are featured in the Chagall for Children exhibit. Included are:

• “America Windows”: Children explore the effect of light upon a stained glass window and recreate their own “America Windows” by rearranging puzzle-like pieces.

• “At the Circus”: Children incorporate role play and become part of a Chagall painting as they pose and play on a circus stage.

• “The Birthday”: Children compare art forms and create a rubbing from a bas relief engraving.

• “The Blue House”: Children create their own three-dimensional house against the backdrop of this painting.

• “The Concert”: Children select musical instruments that are represented in the painting and blend sounds the way Chagall blended colors.

• “Flowers”: Children create their own flower arrangement and experiment with floral scents.

• “The Flying Sleigh”: This computerized activity explores the art of narrative form.

• “Green Violinist”: Children choose and listen to music they feel best describes the painting while a computer invites visitors to study the impact of color.

• “I and the Village”: Children learn about symmetry and explore the different ways
people view the world.

• “The Juggler”: Children explore the world of detail by using a touch screen to
animate elements of the painting.

• “Job Tapestry”: Children create a communal tapestry by weaving and sewing.

• “Paris Through the Window”: Children use magnetized pieces to create their own
picture of Paris.

• “The Poultry Yard”: Children experiment with brightly-colored, three dimensional,
soft-sculpture animals to create fantasy creatures and scenes.

• “The Rooster”: Children touch and rearrange the beautiful feathers for a rich,
tactile experience.

Chagall for Children opens during EdVenture’s EdCeptional Kids Month, celebrated each September with special programming to serve children with disabilities and special needs and to educate the public about these EdCeptional children.  EdCeptional Kids Month is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission (which receives funds from NEA), VSA arts of South Carolina (which receives funds from VSA arts National and the Kennedy Center), the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the South Carolina Department of Education, and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.  For a complete listing of activities surrounding EdCeptional Kids Month, visit www.edventure.org.

After Labor Day, EdVenture is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  Admission is $6.95 for children, $8.95 for adults and children one and under are admitted free. 

EdVenture Children’s Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring children to experience the joy of learning.   Celebrating its five-year anniversary in 2008, the museum features more than 67,000 square feet of hands-on, minds-on learning for children and adults.  EdVenture is one of the largest children’s museums in the South, 12th largest in the nation and home of Eddie, the world’s largest child.  EdVenture is located at 211 Gervais Street in downtown Columbia.  To learn more about EdVenture, visit www.edventure.org.