Been meaning to take the kids to a museum this summer? You'll discover something new with a visit to these engaging, family-friendly exhibits.
Jun Kaneko Sculpture • Dixon Gallery and Gardens
May 28 through November 22
Big is beautiful! If your family is interested in checking out something bold and brilliant, then take a stroll through the Dixon Gardens and discover the work of Jun Kaneko in this outdoor sculpture exhibit.
Japanese sculptor Jun Kaneko is a world-famous ceramic artist known for his large-scale, hand-built sculptures. He has over 50 public art installations in the U.S., Canada, China, and Japan. Dixon Gallery and Gardens is proud to host 24 of Kaneko’s ceramic and bronze sculptures. These monolithic monuments are a visual delight.
“A map in the form of a fan shows visitors where sculptures are located in the garden,” notes Chantal Drake, director of communications. Be sure to spot the Dangos and Tanukis (meaning rounded form and raccoon dogs in Japanese) and also the large Head sculptures (in both bronze and ceramic) that decorate the gardens.
Wicked Plants: The Exhibit • Pink Palace Museum
June 6 through September 7
Are there any Wicked Plants hidden in your backyard? Thanks to Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, visitors get a hands-on experience with 100 of the world’s most diabolical botanicals without the risk of danger.
Walk into this monstrous world where plants rule. Discover the deadliest creatures occupying the living, dining, and bathroom of a decrepit old home. Showcasing more than 75 plants, the exhibit takes an open-ended approach to health education.
“Discovering the exhibit together gives parents and children a chance to talk about foods and plants they encounter every day,” observes Ronda Cloud, marketing/PR manager with the Memphis Pink Palace Family of Museums. “The real lesson is nature helps but can also hurt, so know the science behind nature.”
Exhibit highlights include a Victorian cabinet that gives warning signals, an interactive computer feature that "maims" your brain, a chance to play mad scientist in the potions laboratory, and to learn about foul plant odors at the five stinky stations.
Download the educator’s guide here for an informational tour of the exhibit.
The Art of Video Games • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
June 6 through September 13
Calling all gamers! Come take a behind-the-scene tour of the vibrant video-game industry. The Art of Video Games exhibit explores the 40-year evolution of video games from an artistic perspective through still images, videos, historic game consoles, and interviews with 20 developers and artists.
Psst, you even get to play old-school video games!
Chris Melissinos, the founder of Past Pixels conceived the idea and worked in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. But he also counted on the public to come up with the contents for the exhibit. People from 175 countries cast 3.7 million votes to finalize the games for display. The selection features 85 samples ranging from early works of Atari VCS to the popular games of PlayStation 3.
“The interactive space for the exhibition includes playable video games, a drawing station, building blocks, and a sticky note wall where visitors can replicate the pixels in their favorite video game character,” points out Kathy Dumloa, director of education and interpretation with the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Put on your game face and try your hand on some of your favorites, including Pac Man and Super Mario Brothers.
Go to Brooks Museum’s Facebook Page to check out the art museums of Minecraft contest winners.