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March 10, 2016

Monkey See, Monkey Make: Family Day 2016

Family Day 2016 at the ArtStarts Gallery

We love to celebrate Family Day. It's a wonderful time for families to spend time together. We were happy to have many families join us at for a full day full of celebrations at the ArtStarts Gallery.We started off a with a family yoga session, inspired by Chinese New Year. Mira facilitated a very engaging and imaginative session where everyone went on an adventure to China to look for special ingredients for a happy family soup. Patience, understanding, honesty, respect and love: these were the key ingredients that were hidden under trees and rocks.

With their trusty dragon Mushu, kids along with their parents travelled around China, found patience in a silent moment in child's pose and love in each other's embrace. With all their ingredients, and on the dragon's back, they travelled back to ArtStarts to cook their Happy Family Soup and threw it up into the air for the people in the world who needed it.

This physically and mentally active session was followed by the introduction of two gifts that we presented to the community. The first was our new outdoor community colouring mural! Carrie Wong and Witek Radomski from Colorworth Publishing presented the enlarged illustrations that we commissioned to be installed in a structure that invites the public to contribute to this participatory colouring piece. These illustrations are excerpts from their Legendary Landscapes colouring book that features hand-drawn illustrations by seven Canadian artists, showcasing snapshots of beautiful landscapes, including remarkable locations in British Columbia.

The other gift was something we have dubbed the Imagination Station. Our volunteer knowledge philanthropist Robert MacKie and our Gallery Manager Juliana Bedoya shared how this project was born and showed the audience photos of the making of this interactive station that invites gallery visitors to play and imagine, while providing space for reflection and feedback.

Kids and their parents eagerly waited and learned about the process of ideation, prototyping and making—all part of the design thinking process Robert and the ArtStarts team embarked on to design and build the Imagination Station.

Once given the green light, they ripped into the giant wrapped present and right away found many different areas to explore and create including vertical Lego, a chalkboard, a felt board and a little table with supplies to make something for someone they love.

At noon it was time for storytelling in the ArtStarts Lab! All Kinds of Families, by Mary Ann Hoberman, This Next New Year by Janet Wong, and Migrant by Maxine Trottier were read as everyone got lost in the bright illustrations that were projected. These books were about unique families, old traditions in a modern world and families that immigrate.

The Lab also had a shadow puppet station where families practiced Jianzhi, the traditional Chinese art form of paper cutting. Everyone drew out their ideas and cut them into puppets to play behind our shadow screen.

The sensory station downstairs was filled with different Reggio-inspired invitations and materials for kids to play with. Soft red clay, shiny gold coins, fuzzy pipe cleaners and aromatic star anise—all themed towards celebrating Chinese New Year—were some of the materials kids had the chance to explore and play with.

At the end of the day everyone settled in to watch the Croods, a movie about a prehistoric family facing challenges together. Thanks to all the families who celebrated with us this year!

Check out lots more photos of our Family Day event on Facebook!

We hope to see you soon! Join us at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, March 26, 2016 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, March 27, 2016 to explore the exciting, diverse and colourful world of pollen with artist jasna guy. Sessions start at 11am and 1pm. As always, admission is free! See you there! Learn more.

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