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Little Artists on 53rd Street


SplatThere must be something in the air around 53rd Street, because ever since the library became MoMA’s new neighbor it has been a hub of creativity and idea sharing.

On Wednesday afternoons, children’s librarian Sam Simoes has led a successful series called Little Artists that encourages kids to be inspired by the work and life stories of master artists, and then create their own process-based art projects.

Past programs have featured Matisse, Michelangelo, and Monet, and we can’t wait to see what they create next.

Unlike many arts and crafts programs, the emphasis here isn't on the end result but on understanding the style, method, and tools that were used to create masterpieces. This has led to big appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of artists from some of our youngest visitors.

On hearing that it took more than four years for the Sistine Chapel to be completed by Michelangelo's team, one four year old library user commented with awe, "I would have been so tired to be him."

Says Simoes “Kids can bring their own ideas to the table! This program is a mingling of the artist’s works and the children’s minds.” And the end results are true to her vision—no two projects look alike.

Matisse-inspired work from our little artists
Matisse-inspired work from one little artist at 53rd St.

Like the sound of Little Artists? You’re in luck, our series will continue, and we have more crafternoons, coloring clubs, and knitting circles scheduled this summer.

Can’t make it into the library, but interested in trying out your own project inspired by the masters? Check out Splat!The Most Exciting Artists of All Time by Mary Richards to boost your creative impulses, or take Simoes’s advice and just step outside your front door for a fresh look at New York.

“I want to introduce kids to art at a young age, especially modern art. We are close to many great sculptures and to MoMA, and I want to encourage kids that visit the library to look at the art that is already all around them in their city."

Learning about Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
A few brave kids climb under their tables to imagine what it felt like to paint the Sistine Chapel from below


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