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Art Splash Gets Wild

June 27 – September 4, 2017

Art Splash, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s popular summer-long family program now in its fifth year, kicks off on Tuesday, June 27, in conjunction with the opening of Wild, a major exhibition celebrating the work of legendary nature photographer Michael Nichols. This program invites kids and their grown-ups to experience the magic of the exhibition through art-making activities, studio programs, gallery explorations, themed tours, and weekend festivals with sing-along musical performances. Art Splash is presented by PNC Arts Alive, an initiative of the PNC Foundation that is designed to support the visual and performing arts.

Emily Schreiner, The Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said “Summer is a great time for families to slow down and spend quality, creative time at the Museum. We are incredibly grateful to PNC for its support of our education programs. With its help, we’ve welcomed over 30,000 visitors to the Museum for the past four summers through the Art Splash program.”

“Through PNC Arts Alive, we continue to help invigorate local arts organizations while bringing new and exciting programs to our community,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey. “Art Splash has become a summertime staple in the city and there’s no better way to celebrate its arrival than by enabling new visitors and residents alike to experience its diverse range of activities.”

Art Splash will feature a number of new experiences this year. Storytime in the galleries will occur on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., and the Splash Studio will stay open until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays. Art Splash will also offer four mornings designed for families with children on the autism spectrum or who have other sensory sensitivities. These activities will be led by specially-trained Museum staff on select Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. (July 19 and 22; August 19 and 23).

Family Festivals will take place on first Sundays in July, August, and September, when the Museum offers Pay What You Wish admission. Frances England will sing songs from her Grammy-nominated album, Explorer of the World, on Sunday, July 2, and Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School will entertain families with movement workshops and sketching on Sunday, August 6.

In Art Splash, kids will see the remarkable close-up photographs of owls, alligators, lions, tigers, and elephants, taken by Michael Nichols in the wild, and will create their own art inspired by the natural world. They will learn about this photographer’s award-winning work and his encounters with wild animals as well as his visits to some of the world’s most remote places, leaving virtually no trace behind.

Art-making activities will take place in the Splash Studio, a 2,300 square-foot space where families can make art, read a book, or relax in an air-conditioned area located adjacent to the exhibition. In Wild, families can listen to an audio guide featuring fifth-graders from the local Julia R. Masterman School in conversation with the artist about his wild adventures and his photographs.

Beyond the main exhibition space, families can discover hands-on activities in the Museum’s collection galleries where some of Nichols’ photographs will be juxtaposed with works by other artists. In the medieval cloister, families can use flashlights and search for animals in stone carvings. In the arms and armor galleries, they can compare animals who wear natural armor, such as an armadillo or porcupine, to knights’ plated armor. In the American art galleries, they can learn about the National Park Service, making note of landscapes such as Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, as it compares to a photograph of Yellowstone Park by Nichols.

For family-friendly dining options, the Museum Café and the Art Café are open throughout the week. The Art Café is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

All Art Splash programs are drop-in and free after Museum admission unless otherwise noted. Admission for kids ages 12 and under is always free. Visit www.philamuseum.org/artsplash for more details. Member previews will be held on June 23 – 25.

Art Splash is presented by PNC Arts Alive, with additional support from The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Mari and Peter Shaw. (Credits as of April 7, 2017).

Support for the Wild: Michael Nichols exhibition is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts with additional support from Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, National Geographic, Lyn M. Ross, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Donna D. and Marvin Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Anderson, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, Mrs. Susannah D. Rouse, Constance and Sankey Williams, and other generous donors. (Credits as of May 3, 2017).

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