The Memory Project

The Memory Project

These beautiful portraits are the faces of Syrian children living in a refugee camp on the border of Syria and Jordan.

memory project-1

American teenagers created the portraits from photographs as part of the Memory Project, which promotes international friendship and kindness.

memory project-4.jpg

Receiving the portraits brought smiles and joy, letting the children know that people around the world care. And for the teens, this was an opportunity to practice kindness, global awareness, and to rise above intolerance.

memory project-6.jpg

The portraits will live in the Children’s Museum on the wall next to Skyline Gallery through early fall. For more information on the Memory Project, please click here or watch their video below.

armando silva

ART. MAN. DO.

Artmando

ART – MAN – DO | noun

1: The art one man can do

From the top of his retro red fedora to the toes of his black Converse, Armando Silva is covered in vibrant paint splatter. And, after watching his performance, it is clear he earned every fleck of color.

Art-man-do. It’s more than just a clever play on Armando’s name. To him, it’s a motto. The ART one MAN can DO; “We all have our own way of creating. Of making an impact or contributing to the bigger picture.”

Armando, an action painter who uses movement and color to tell stories, came from humble roots. After moving to Colorado from Mexico when he was just 5, Armando struggled not only with a language barrier, but a cultural one. Armando recalls watching cartoons and being inspired to draw and trace the figures. Creating became not only his outlet, but how he related to those around him. He was the friend that was always drawing, or as he recalls fondly, “the one the girls would ask to write their name in bubble letters.”

But, he soon graduated from tracing Ninja Turtles and attended The University of Northern Colorado, earning his BA in Fine Arts in 2010. It was in college that his interest in action painting was roused. Professors were doubtful a successful career could be launched using this platform, but Armando did not waver. And though it seemed only incredibly accomplished artists were doing the same thing, as Armando puts it, just because Lebron James is the king of basketball doesn’t mean kids don’t aspire to play.

And he is right. Far too often, fear of failure can dictate our choices. Armando insists this is why he likes action painting. Mistakes can be made, sometimes while on stage in front of thousands, but he simply picks up a new brush and turns the mistake into part of the bigger picture.

It is this philosophy that led him to apply for the Children’s Museum Artist-in-Residence Program. And the most important thing he wants to take from his residency and time collaborating with Museum guests?

“How do we make it better? How do we use each other for the best and make something really cool?”

During his most recent open studio hours, that meant tiny hands were dipped into lime green and hot pink paint cans with kiddos slapping, flinging and flicking paints to put the finishing touches on Armando’s piece.

The Nest-1

Armando has open studio hours through July, but don’t be surprised if they are all a little different.

“I’m feeling it out. I don’t want to come in here and think, this is what has to happen. I want to feel the vibe of the Museum and build off of that.”

We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Public Art

Opening Doors, an exhibit welcoming all

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

-Maya Angelou

On April 26, we cut the ribbon on a new public art exhibition, Opening Doors.

Featuring all local artists, Opening Doors is a series of 11 doors that form a welcome ribbon at the Museum entrance.  Each door is truly unique in size, shape and content; from pink fringe and peacock feathers to glitter bubbles and faces made of clay. But all offer the same message:

Regardless of immigration status, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation, ALL are welcome at the Children’s Museum.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock attended the ribbon cutting as the special guest and said to the crowd of nearly 100, “This exhibit, with its emphasis on diversity and inclusion, I really think it says a lot about Denver. And, as importantly, it is so timely for this type of exhibit. Not just for those here in Denver, but those of us in our society.”

Museum President Mike Yankovich added, “The whole idea here is to celebrate the diversity in our community. We brought together local artists to welcome everybody, to welcome all families and children within our community.”

The exhibit will live on the Museum plaza through fall of 2017, free for all to experience.

Contributing Artists

Ramon Bonilla

Gwylym Cano

Maeve Eichelberger

Sarah Fukami

Jennifer Ghormley

Ebony Ice & Kristen Thomas

Jay Michael Jaramillo & Jerry Jaramillo

Community children and Museum staff, led by Salim Khoury

Armando Silva (Artmando)

Frankie Toan

 

The Art Studio

Introducing Salim

Salim Khoury started with the Museum as a Clay Technician in October 2015. Recently, he took on the role of Art Studio Coordinator and has strived to expand the experiences available to Museum guests. In addition to adding new clay programming, he has been working hard to bring wonder and joy to all through pop-up dance parties (James Brown, anyone?), “stained” glass windows and every child’s favorite, coloring on walls.

Check out this video to meet Salim and hear more about the variety of ways you can play with clay at the Children’s Museum!

Kia Neill

Farewell

Down Stream
Down Stream

On April 12, we said goodbye to our winter artist-in-residence, Kia Neill. Throughout her tenure, Kia wowed guests with color and whimsy, while encouraging kiddos to make their own mark on the world around them.

Down Stream, inspired by nature and created in collaboration with Museum guests, lives in Joy Park.

Kia Neill

Meet Kia

kia-photo-by-christopher-patronella-jr
Photo by Christopher Patronella, Jr

Growing up in a house full of artists, Kia Neill was allowed to endlessly explore her creativity. But while her parents focused on the commercial aspect of art, graphic design and illustration, Kia knew by the age of 5 that was not her path.

Laughing, she recalls her uncle asking if she was going to grow up to be an artist like her parents.

Her reply? “No way. If I’m an artist, I’m going to be like Picasso.”

kia-language-of-evolving-trails
Language of Evolving Trails by Kia Neill

And like Picasso, there is no denying an element of surrealism in her work. A Chicago native, Kia moved to Colorado to explore the mountain landscape, both physically and through her artwork. Her creations meld drawing and photography in a seemingly effortless way; the addition of a sketch to elongate a swirling cloud or to expound on the tracks left by a cross-country skier. Her intention is to evoke the feeling of the photograph. She describes it as “more of the experiential, something that is not really seen but what you can feel when you are in the moment.”

img_9406
Kia’s Open Studio Hours

With her strong connection to the natural world, it’s no wonder Kia is excited her installation will live in Joy Park, and she needs your help to finish it! Kiddos and grown-ups are invited to come by during her open studio hours to meet Kia, collaborate on a piece, and explore art in a whole new way!