Gallery At Home

As my mother is an artist, the kids have visited the Queensland Art Gallery many times and also enjoy creating in Nanna’s studio.  There are few blank walls in our home, but I wanted to create a gallery space to showcase the kids’ own work.  We chose an awkward spot in our stair well which is seen by everyone as they enter our house.  (It’s also awkward to photograph!!)

There is space to add further “works” to our gallery.  Mr 2 doesn’t have anything on display as yet but will do soon.  I used basic frames from Ikea, and left the wooden frames bare.  I like that these frames have perspex instead of glass. This means that the kids can be involved in framing their works.  (And did I mention they are dirt cheap?)

You might notice the small cards on the wall below each art work.  In galleries these often give some detail about the piece or the artist.  As the kids get older we will include more information such as medium used.  For now though they have title, artist and year, and the centre painting has information about the story in the painting.

Here are some reasons why you should set up a gallery at home too!

  • Celebrate the unique creativity of each child in your family.  Having your children’s art works beautifully displayed communicates a strong message not only to visitors, but to your kids as well.
  • Give purpose to artwork. Although it is lovely (and important) to paint purely for the joy of painting, as children get older they often produce amazing results when they work purposefully.
  • Connect literacy with art by talking to your child about a title for their work.
  • Allow the opportunity for others to see from the child’s perspective.  Information on the tags helps visitors to understand where the child is coming from, and they are great too for stopping THAT question, “What is it? Is it a ……?”
  • Define great art.  Not every piece an artist creates makes it into a gallery, and not every piece in a gallery is everyone’s taste!  Great art is subjective.  Having gallery space provides an opportunity to discuss with your child why they think a piece should be in the home gallery.
  • Memories. Already Miss 4’s drawings have moved on from this stage, but I hope I never forget the sweetness of a felt pen stick figure titled, My Mummy.

So what do you think? Are you inspired to let your kids create with paint this week?  Perhaps even set up a gallery in your home? Does anyone have a home gallery already?! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

19 thoughts on “Gallery At Home

  1. I love the idea of putting the children’s paintings in a specific gallery in the home.

    I love art but I don’t really like prints of artwork so our house is covered with lots of the kids paintings a long with a few of my own and a lot of photos. Lots and lots of photos :)

    At the moment some of the kids paintings are just stuck on the wall with stickytape but using frames would not only make them look great but also let the kids feel more important about them. Might just steal that idea.

  2. The best thing about your gallery idea is the little cards you are making to go along with each piece. So often we keep kids artworks, etc. but don’t always remember the stories. I can imagine how fun it would be for your kids to look back on a couple of these artworks in many years time to see how they portrayed the world around them.

    When we finally do something with our walls I plan on getting a few frames so we can rotate artworks often. Right now they are on display in our bookcase/display cabinet.

  3. My son LOVES art – drawing, painting, craft – so we have a LOT of stuff to choose from. I started framing stuff (before he was even 2) to put on the playroom wall. Unfortunately his best work is always on his MagnaDoodle, so I take photos of the pictures before he wipes them off. I then include those pictures in the family’s photo albums, and I have framed some for on the wall. If it’s on paper and worth keeping I write what it is and the date (or his age) and have slipped them into one of those clear display books, so he has a ‘folio’ of his work. I have to be really selective – coz he draws ALL the time – and have now got him into the habit of choosing his favourite one and keeping that, and recycling the rest “so someone else can draw on it”.

  4. Love your gallery Cath. We’ve had a gallery happening since Miss M was tiny. It’s one of my favourite parts of our house. I like to write their name, date and a description on the picture itself so I will always remember who did it and what it was once it hits the art memory box. Now that kindy life has started we have so much more art to display. I’m running out of room! I just love kids artwork!

  5. Oh Cath that’s gorgeous! How do you choose which pieces to display? Or is that something the kids do??

    The stick figure of “My Mummy” is great! I especially like the detail of the glasses arm over Mummy’s ear :)

  6. We think alike Cath. We have had something similar (although still to go up int he new house). We also use Ikea frames with the perspex for exactly the same reason. It’s also very handy if they happen to fall off the wall, and in the old house, I had them down low above the kids table, so it was much safer. We haven’t done the info cards though. Maybe we will when we put it back up on the wall.

  7. We hang our art on an Ikea curtain wire that comes with clips. It’s at kids eye level under our kitchen benchtop, and clearly visable from our dining table so we often discuss the new pieces during our family meals.

  8. My daughter announces from time to time “we live in an art gallery!”. I think she’s referring to all the art on the walls – we have original prints, drawings and paintings (mainly from friends and artists in our community) but we have the kids pictures in frames along side the “real” art. I love the idea of little cards – lovely.

  9. We’ve just finished framing and photographing our kids artwork :) I’ve been looking for a print to hang beside the back door, but then thought what could be better than an abstract installation done by the littlest members of our family? I think it shows them that we value their imput, and makes them proud to be contributing to our family home :)

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