Nick Cave: Sojourn opened on June 9, 2013 and combines Cave’s talents as an artist and a dancer, with his unique sculptural Soundsuits on display. The exhibit begins with what looks like wallpaper made from the image seen in a child’s kaleidoscope, then leads into a room with button-covered walls and button-covered suits of various and unusual shapes. From there, visitors see how artist Cave has made elaborate sculptures from thrift store tchotchkes like porcelain dogs and birds. At the end of the exhibit there is a video of Cave and other friends and dancers in the Soundsuits and this was the highlight of the show for my 7-year old. She loved the dance music on the video and seeing the wild “outfits” in action. Children seven and older might have the best appreciation for the skill it takes to make these costumes—and might also be able to keep their hands to themselves!
Across the hall from the Nick Cave show is the dedicated interactive family exhibit area and this was a blast for my daughter. Weeble Wobble punching bags with Cave’s artwork imprinted on them are scattered about the small room and invite kids to get out their sillies (or aggressions, depending on the mood of your kids). One wall is covered in bright yellow felt and here kids of all ages can place felt pieces on the wall and create their own version of Cave’s artwork. That’s right, put those sticky little hands all over the wall here.
Spun: Adventures in Textiles opened May 19, 2013 and is incorporated into nearly every exhibit space at the Denver Art Museum. In other words, there is something for every age to enjoy, do and appreciate with this special exhibit.
Head to the Hamilton Building (the shiny new one) for the Quilt Studio, where kids can “quilt” using magnets or actually sew on quilt scraps. There are artist demonstrations here on weekends during the exhibit. Just outside this space you can see the “dye garden” where you can get inspired by the natural colors in plants that can be transferred to fabrics.
The massive exhibit really cannot be seen in one visit—especially when you are stopping to do activities along the way—so check the museum’s website for what interests you and your family most to plan the day. Go to www.denverartmuseum.org for a full description of the various textiles on display here this summer.