Monday was a bit of a busy day, with Reuben singing in his school choir at Armistice Day in the morning, and then Mia’s class spending the afternoon at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The Art Gallery visit is always a highlight in the school year, and something I always volunteer to assist with as it’s so interesting, and so much fun. There is a professional education coordinator, John, who plans out and actions the most amazing and informative lesson plans. First he takes you on a small tour through the Gallery, stopping at artworks of interest to discuss aspects of the art, then he leads the class upstairs where there is an entire room dedicated to doing art. It is at this point that John pulls together everything that has been talked about so far and directs it toward the pieces the children are about to create. Often the piece they take home is one of the best the children produce all year – you know the kind of thing, frame-able. And yes, I want his job. Wouldn’t you just love to have a paint splattered table like this one at your home? Imagine the imagining that has gone on there!
One thing about life in Dunedin, especially as it relates to the children, is how integral and involved the community is. This place feels like one of those cities that acts like a town, where everyone will eventually end up knowing everyone as you will cross paths, most likely more than once, at some stage. By the time you attend sports, dance, fantastic live shows like Stars on Stage, midwinter carnivals, Toitu the Otago Settlers Museum, and the Art Gallery, the exposure to Dunedin as a city is broad and, frankly, rather exciting. The fact that the kids go to the Art Gallery for education, get spoken to about art, and get to go behind the scenes I think is just amazing. I can only assume this is a rather unique thing, I certainly don’t remember anything like this from my school years!