By: Leticia Muro
The Vincent Price Art Museum will host workshops on the last Saturday of every month in conjunction with the Chinese Ceramics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from now through July.
VPAM hosted another successful Family Day workshop over the weekend. Those who attended had the opportunity to learn about Chinese ceramics, and create their own pottery pieces.
The families that attended the workshop gathered in one of the galleries where the installation of Chinese ceramics was displayed.
Gloria Westcott, the tour guide from LACMA, began by explaining what they would be seeing. She encouraged the children to sketch whatever symbols they found to be inspiring.
She said the 50 works of art were from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art storage, and not from works on display.
“The collection spans from the Neolithic period to the present,” Westcott said.
“The gallery has been curated so that it is divided into three segments: technology, symbols and export,” Westcott said.
Westcott explained things with ease, having worked at The Museum of Contemporary Art and LACMA as an art educator.
When the first half of the tour ended, attendees were escorted to another part of the museum where they had the opportunity to create their own pottery.
Marvella Muro, the community engagement manager for the Education & Public Programs for LACMA, guided children and parents attempting to create pottery by air drying clay.
“As of last November, a focus group consisting of faculty, students, residents and museum curators gathered to create a series of workshops that would correlate with the exhibition, and reinforce symbols, ideas, and techniques of the works,” Muro said.
Muro wanted to bring awareness to residents and neighboring communities of the free activities that would be offered.
“I reached out to the Nueva Maravilla Senior Service Center, The Maravilla Foundation, neighborhood committees and countless other institutions,” Muro said.
The community’s response was so great that they had to request the assistance of an East Los Angeles College student to help with translation to Mandarin, since many of the people who were attending only spoke Mandarin.
Muro said the turnout to many of the workshops has exceeded her expectations.It didn’t take much encouragement from Muro before the children began to poke, stretch and smooth their fingers over their mound of clay.In attendance that afternoon was Claudia Villegas with several of her seventh grade world history students and their parents.
“I explained to my students that we would be coming to the museum to get a closer look at the ceramics that they had seen in their textbooks. I told the parents that the event would be free, and would be a great opportunity to share in an educational event with their children,” Villegas said.
Villegas, an ELAC alumna, knew of the event at VPAM through notifications sent by the museum. Sitting at the head of another table was Niane Greene, a grandmother and museum goer. She was accompanied by her grandniece Hope and grandnephew Joshua.
“I asked Hope what she would like to do the following time we got to see each other, and she said go to a museum,” Greene said.
Greene, who worked in education, explained the importance of exposing children to varying forms of art.
“Museums are such a vital part of what a child should experience while growing up. Art encompasses so many things and can broaden a child’s horizons,” Greene said.
For listings people can visit vincentpriceartmuseum.org. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday noon-4pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
For additional information on other programs at other locations please visit lacma.org.