The Appleton Museum of Art hosts learning tour for kids

The Appleton Museum of Art hosts a variety of tours, classes, and activities along with a permanent art collection and galleries. Photo provided by cf.edu.

This past Thursday, the museum hosted a tour called, “Discovering the Appleton of art” that featured an audience of about ten kids and their parents, participating in a exclusive tour around the museum.
The Appleton Museum sits on 30,000 acres and displays some of the most fascinating pieces of permanent art spanning hundreds and hundreds of years. It recently passed its 30-year mark since being opened here in Ocala, known for its award-winning displays.
The docent started the tour off by gathering everybody in the first room that displayed a beautiful scene of  portrait paintings. She went around the room teaching important and interesting facts about each and every portrait, and surprisingly these young kids knew their art. Especially facts about the Mona Lisa.

” The Mona Lisa is my favorite piece of art because it’s one of the most famous pieces in the world” Sidney, 10, said.

After taking a gander of the art and paintings upstairs, the kids got a huge kick out of the digital photography pictures that were framed on the east side of the museum. Some of the images included fascinating shots of the Everglades, crocodiles, exotic animals and other jaw dropping scenes.

Even though the youngsters seemed to be learning and fascinated by all of the unique art throughout the museum, the tour guide decided to take a break and show the kids some real fun.

The Appleton Museum features an art room for kids that was donated to the museum where it allows children to gather into groups to paint pictures, work on Lego building and get creative with other fun stuff such as sculptures.

Shortly after the kids took a tour in the art room, they were escorted to a security room in the back where they were educated about how the security personnel keeps the building safe for their visitors. They learned how to check for fires and how to work the security cameras on the computer screens. It was a cool way of showing the little ones fun stuff while taking a short intermission from learning about the art.

“My favorite part of the tour was looking at all of the cool screens in the room where you can see visitors walk around.” Kyle, 11, said.

One of the most eye popping art displays in the museum was a Chinese piece of art that was made out of coral and wood. It was once to be a piece of coral that was found and later carved, painted and then placed on a piece of wood to display. The piece had over 15 objects scattered in the piece of coral that included animals, a bridge, fish, Chinese men, and other ancient images that had the kids playing I-spy with.

“I didn’t know that the Chinese statue was made up of coral by looking at it” Sidney said.

The tour was summed up by watching a 20-minute educational video on the pieces of art that the Appleton has featured within. The kids seemed very educated and excited with their visit to the Appleton Museum. 9-year-old Emma was asked what she would tell her family and friends about the Appleton back home.

” My mom would like the Appleton because she is crazy about art, so she would like the Everglades display” Emma said.

For more information on upcoming tours, please email sunderbl@cf.edu.

By: Brandon Surber