Having to close down for social distancing forced the Barnes Foundation to pivot their content to the virtual sphere, and pivot they did.
The popular cultural institution in the City of Brotherly Love has been offering Philadelphians a few different ways to experience their artistic offerings with online classes, a Youtube channel streaming unique content, downloadable family art experiences, ways to explore their collections virtually and more.
More recently, however, the Barnes has launched a new project streamlined towards K-12 education levels as a way to keep students entertained while at home and to also provide resources for teachers as well.
With Barnes Art Adventures, kids have the chance to join interactive and educational programs that will be live-streamed through Twitch.tv. The goal of this new initiative is to bring art and artists directly to the students, and parents can expect a unique way to engage their child’s curiosity and also build connections with peers their own age.
According to the release, each episode with BAA is designed to be interactive so participants will be learning together with classes and families from around the world in real time. Participants not only have the opportunity to soak in all of the knowledge, but they can also respond to questions and prompts through the live chat function on Twitch.tv. Students younger than third grade should expect to have an adult participate with them to respond within the chat feature, but many prompts will not require a chat response. Each episode also has a different and exciting theme inspired by artworks in the Barnes collection.
Next week’s theme will surround the art of Henri Rousseau and will also pose the question: Have you ever wanted to be a puppeteer? Participants will be able to pick out their favorite Henri Rousseau painting and discover how his art inspired a theatrical performance, then students are also encouraged to have recycled cardboard or tubes ready so that they can join in on making puppets with the Barnes as well.
Barnes Art Adventures will be available every Wednesday at 11 a.m. through Twitch.tv.
However, anyone of any age group can dive into the Barnes virtual programming through their website, which is perfect if you’re looking for a valuable way to spend your time, or if you perhaps just have a desire to discover more about the artistic world.
New content is uploaded daily to the Barnes’ Youtube page, Philadelphians will be able to peruse through different short videos featuring some of the Barnes curators, scholars and educators presenting “off-the-cuff musings about some of their favorite works in the collection.” Then, with #BarnesRollCall, art-hungry viewers can also view live performances and artist conversations through Instagram. The next live event will be held Thursday, June 4, at 4 p.m.
The Barnes Foundation has also made its collection of research notes available, and those interested can sift through valuable educational information and read about intriguing theories and recent discoveries from the museum’s team of curators, scholars, conservators and archivists. If you’d rather peruse through a specific collection however, that is fully available as well. The website states that viewers can still browse objects by light, line, color and space, inspired by Dr. Barnes’s approach to looking at art, but also, now you can search by artist, culture, year and even gallery room.
Rounding out the enticing virtual programming is a more hands-on approach to art with the Barnes’ Family Art Time. Families can download at-home activity sheets and can create art and learn from artists and objects in the Barnes collection together.
Lastly, the Barnes is offering a way to always feel connected to their foundation. Philadelphians can download one of their favorite paintings to use as their next video conference background, and with more than 3,000 choices, it’s safe to say there will definitely be a piece available that will catch everyone’s eye.
As a bonus, the cultural institution is also offering online classes (scholarships are available) for those who are looking to take their art education to the next level. To learn more about how to register for classes and to find more information on all of the Barnes Foundation’s virtual programming, visit barnesfoundation.org