Homecoming weekend is here and you know what that means! Football games, celebration, food, fun and origami!
“Origami?” You may wonder. Yes, The University Galleries put on an “Kids Art Corner” which included origami and coloring for children and their families. This event was attended by a few families who went to the football game after as a way to escape the chaos and noise by relaxing and getting creative. It offered origami paper and coloring pages with crayons. During this activity, there were two large tables set up in a cozy room. The tables were covered in crayons and origami paper. Inside the gallery, a beautiful sculpture with hanging pink flowers can be scene. There were a bunch of prints on the wall where flowers can be scene printed onto paper.
The at corner was based on one of the exhibits currently in the gallery, “Nothing Under Heaven” by artist Joseph Liatela. This exhibition included art made to represent connection, pleasure and agency within oppressive systems. The art is shown alongside photography done by Andy Warhol and religious art done by Carlo Dolci. This exhibition is open from Sept. 13 – Dec. 9 and is free to view.
A large portion of Liatela’s exhibition was made up of flowers and the kids worked on origami flowers that appeared to be lilies. The Kids Art Corner project related to the gallery and the kids got to see how their own art was similar to a professional artist’s work.
When one steps into the gallery and art room, they can immediately feel themselves decompress and calm down. Art is often a forgotten way to get away from the stressors of daily life.
Jajone Cuff, a senior television and digital media major and a pubic programming intern with the gallery, explained why she believes it is important that the art gallery hold events like these.
“I think art is subjective, so people are able to make their own interpretations of art,” Cuff said. “I think art is all around us, and I think people don’t realize that people are art [and] places are art.” Art is interpreted differently by students at Montclair State.
Ethan Ferraro, who is currently in elementary school, was one of the children who attended the Kids Art Corner. When doing art projects in school, he works on projects that help him learn about the world.
“I usually like to draw things, I usually draw like flags and maps,” Ethan said.
This has helped expose Ethan to the world around him and also has given him a nudge toward a possible career path.
”I think I want to be a social studies teacher because I am really good at social studies,” Ethan said.
Jarryn Ferraro, Ethan’s mother, spoke about her experience with art throughout the pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, my son used to go to an afterschool art program, which they stopped unfortunately but then they had an online thing which was nice and they did that through the library,” Ferraro said.
Ferraro said that what she was looking for her son to get out of art projects like these was to let him express himself.
“I hope it opens their mind and lets them express their feelings if they are feeling anything,” Ferraro said. Art can impact kids by giving them a safe way to express themselves.
The Kids Art Corner was a great way for children and their families to have fun and relax during homecoming weekend. The kids enjoyed learning about how to do origami and seemed very engaged in their artwork. Hopefully, there will be another art corner at next year’s homecoming for kids to enjoy.