GRAM hosts Family Day to grow young passion for art


GVL / Rachel Slomba

Mary Dupuis, Staff Writer

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) recently held their “Family Day” event to inspire the next generation of artists in Grand Rapids. 

On Saturday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., families were invited to come to GRAM and celebrate their newest exhibitions, “An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints” and “An Interwoven Legacy: The Black Ash Basketry of Kelly Church and Cherish Parrish.”

The day was filled with numerous interactive events for families, ranging from scavenger hunts with prizes to gallery chats in the exhibitions with GRAM teaching staff. 

GRAM communications assistant, Alaina Taylor, said the events were meant to spark a passion for arts in the children in the community. 

“Family Day is ultimately designed to offer accessible arts education that allows kids to really interact with the art they’re seeing on the walls,” Taylor said. “All of the day’s activities were geared towards allowing kids to explore, discover, make connections, and create things based on what inspires them.” 

GVL / Rachel Slomba

One event, in particular, offered the opportunity to make art projects in the studio themed after the different exhibitions. 

The “Monoprinting Magic” workshop was themed after “An Art of Changes” and guests could use gel plates and paint to create their own prints. The other workshop, “Colorful Woven Bowls” was themed after “An Interwoven Legacy” where guests could weave their own bowls using colorful fibers and beads. 

Guests were given the option to complete their artwork at the museum or take materials and instructions with them to complete it at home. 

In addition to all of this, three performances were held in the auditorium featuring Neshnabek storytelling and music by Madalene and Sterling Big Bear, provided by the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. 

GVL / Rachel Slomba

Taylor said she hopes that through these events, the museum is able to help the community grow. 

“Cultural institutions like GRAM are positioned to be a resource for our communities,” Taylor said. “We want to not just present art, but to foster our guests’ engagement with it, to create a non-hierarchical space for exploration and imagination that will feed the minds of the next generation. Family Day is just one way to bring art and art appreciation to the families of Grand Rapids, and all the positive developments that come with that exposure: critical thinking, literacy skills, creativity, problem-solving and collaboration.”

She said she hopes that after leaving the events, children have gathered more than just new projects. 

“We hope to not just foster a lifelong love of art, but to create a launching pad for these kids to learn important developmental learning skills that they can take with them and apply to their education in the future,” Taylor said. 

GRAM plans to host another Family Day in April 2022.