It’s art that comes to life with the touch of the hand, the imagination of the mind, and the perception of the eye.
The new exhibit is Wingding, a kid-focused, interactive art installation opening at the Crocker Art Museum this weekend. Created by Sacramento artist Sunya Whitelight and a part of the Crocker’s Art Spots program, Wingding intentionally allows children and parents to actually make art instead of just observing it.
The massive, wooden, geometric landscape is meant to be stacked, spun, changed, and climbed upon as children create their own patterns and designs. The 3D work is made up of hundreds of wooden shapes in sizes large and small and is meant to encourage play, creativity, and an immersive experience with art. For an added touch, mirrors are installed on the ceiling to allow children to see their work from every angle.
On the outset, the exhibit simply seems fun. But there’s more than meets eye to this geometric wonderland. Here are four reasons why every parent, friend or family member should bring their kids to the new exhibit this season.
1. Kids Learn as they Play
This exhibit was designed in collaboration with early childhood advisers, museum staff, and other artists to provide children with an experience that is both educational and artistic, all while being conveniently disguised as fun. The artist is a teacher with a vested interest in child development, and wanted particularly to create a 3D art installation that touches on all the learning facets of children, be it visual, kinetic, or auditory. Children will tap into their creative and critical thinking skills as they build and decipher patterns and designs. It’s math, science, and art all in one, and what Whitelight describes as the highest form of creating.
2. The Exhibit Reduces a Child’s Apprehension of Museums
Museums contain a wealth of culture and beauty, but so often children can be apprehensive about them because they can’t experience exhibits the same way adults do. The Crocker is great at catering activities for kids and Wingding is just another Crocker draw that knows the best way to spark interest in children is to get them to explore, discover, and interact with the world around them. The exhibit will instill in them a love of art through a hands-on experience that gets them moving and creating. You can expect them to learn to see museums and art in a new way.
3. You’re Supporting a Local Artist
Sunya Whitelight is a resident of Sacramento known for her sculpting work with wood, steel, metal, silk, and light. Her frequently large, fantastical pieces utilize a variety of textures, patterns, colors, and shapes. Whitelight, who says she’s excited to see her work come to life in this 3D format, is known for her work with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, the Capital Dance Project, and various events, festivals, and children’s programs. By visiting Wingding, you’re supporting a local artist and allowing her to continue sharing her gift and craft with the world.
4. Adults Will Enjoy It As Well!
Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, aunt, uncle, sibling, or friend, a natural bonding experience occurs children and adults play together. Whitelight says she believes that adults will enjoy the exhibit for its detail and children for their genuine curiosity. Once there, there will be no sitting back for the adults–they’ll share in the excitement and become part of the fun too!
Wingding opens Sunday, Nov. 19 with a drop-in, art-making event and a chance to meet Whitelight and be the first to explore the exhibit. The special edition Wonder Lab event is free and open to the public from 11am-1pm. The exhibit will remain at the Crocker through Mar. 4.
For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit crockerart.org.
We visited the Crocker as Whitelight was busy installing her pieces before opening day. Here’s a few photos of the artist at work and a sneak peak at the exhibit:
Photos by Cesar Alexander