by Laura E. Alvarez
Next Gen. It’s not just about the next generation of art lovers, it’s about the next generation of parents. Thus, rogue parenting. It’s about: Guess What? You get to keep having fun. Yes, even after having kids. More fun, actually. You actually like some of the same music and play it really loud in the car. That kind of says it all. No “Made for Kids Music” here. There is a meeting ground. You let there be a meeting ground. And sometimes it’s a David Hockney installation that your teenager says he can sit and look at all day or a picnic on the hill by the museum where hopefully, your 12 year old rolls down the hill before ingesting their homemade tacos while you drink coffee from a thermos… but sometimes it’s after. Fine.
First of all, some kids like to dress for their cultural outings. Encourage this. It’s just more fun. We are the art. Of course, not all children agree with this. Fine. More on that later.* Here, we have Dr. Who meets Richard Serra. The colors love each other.
Band, by Richard Serra, collection of Los Angeles Museum of Art, 2006
Tote full of snacks, aforementioned coffee, sketchbook, picnic blanket.
Youngsters are also handy for taking your outfit photos. You can do silly poses in front of them in public places. They often take direction really well because they are not particularly excited to take over the whole photo shoot. See, their whole life is a creative outlet. That’s what being a kid is about, right? But do not, I repeat do not have a child for the exclusive reason of taking your outfit photos. You’ve got to think these things through!
This looks posed, but it is not. This is also not a paid advertisement for artist, Robert Irwin since here I am sitting in another Robert Irwin… sculpture (or garden?) at another art museum. Okay, you don’t have to sketch with your kid (or your friend’s kid) but, there’s a lot of things that are worth trying once in this life or in any life for that matter.
More micro fashion. Indian textiles with cowboy boots. I might not have thought of that.
Some teens might draw at art museums. Its active and exciting. Also, invite another teen on the trip. Teens are social creatures. Remember this time in your life? An outing with your parents can go from boring to fun if there is another person your age who you can make fun of stuff with. Also, most important with teens… food. Bookend the trip with food. Start with food and end with food. I just read that last part to my very own teen and he said, “That is so true. If there’s no food, it’s hell.” Do you see how important food is to them?
*Shoes by Sanuk, shorts by Old Navy, t shirt by… London Games 2012. This outfit says, “Ready to switch into some Asics and run five miles.” Pretty cool.
So, we bookended the end of this art museum trip with Balconi Coffee Company. See, you can even go somewhere you want to go… as long as there’s sugar.
Everyone happy? Everyone happy.
1. Attitude: Everyone is having fun.
2. Dress for the outing… More fun!
3. Meeting Ground. Find some art everyone might like. Or almost everyone.
4. Balance with outdoor time. (i.e. rolling down hill)
5. Add friends. Especially if there is a teenager.
6. And most important… bookend with food.
This photo by artist, Evan Hartzell.