Preschoolers of Montclair Child Development Center Interpret Native American Art & Culture in MAM Exhibit

 Montclair Child Development Center

Friday rang in the opening of the Art Start Program Exhibition at Montclair Art Museum (MAM), displaying the partnership of art education with Montclair Art Museum (MAM) and the Montclair Child Development Center (MCDC.) The amazing art educators of the museum and teachers lead the children on an artistic journey of culture and history.

Five hundred pieces of bright Native American inspired compositions were created by preschoolers, ages 3-5, from MCDC sites including Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Orange. Their artwork will be on display at the Montclair Art Museum through February 2.

The main elements of the children’s artistic inspiration were: the sun, the totem pole, and the parflesh bag. Creating their own representation of the sun, the children’s exhibition combines the brilliant translucent tissue paper featuring collages of swirling suns. The totem pole creations are fun colored boards of animals and faces relevant to the culture, attached together to create the tall totem family. The parflesh bags, traditionally made from animal hides (Native Americans used these bags to carry food) were made from craft paper and decorated with geometric designs, feathers and drawing characteristic of the Native Americans.  Stories of Native American culture, including examining the historic art, where among the many activities the children got to experience at the museum.

This museum showcase allows the children of the MCDC community to enjoy art, and become fans of the museum and historic culture. As one child paraphrased at the end of their project, “This was soooo much fun!”  What a great way to begin the 100 year celebration of the Montclair Art Museum!

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