On a bright Thursday morning at CAM, twenty kids sit around tables drawing pictures and cutting out circles to make buttons. Dressed in matching bright blue shirts, they excitedly talk about the pictures they’re coloring. The children are spending the summer at Chesterfield Kindercare’s day camp, which includes a field trip every week. “This is our first time coming to
CAM,” mentions Kindercare Assistant Director Alisha. “For camp this month, we are focusing on art.”
By constructing buttons, the kids learn how artists emphasize color. “We lead three to five education tours a week,” says CAM Museum Educator José Garza. “We incorporate an art activity for the younger groups to help them gain greater understanding of a topic, whether it’s about colors or perspective.” The tours typically last an hour, with many local camps visiting during the summer months. “I like to make the tours a conversation,” Garza remarks. “I really enjoy it when visitors notice something in the art that I don’t. It gives me a different viewpoint for when I lead future tours, so I am not just speaking from my own perspective.”
Two Learning and Engagement interns, Alyx Farris and Raegan Jackson, work the button-making machine and carefully press out each button for the kids. Farris notes, “Before every tour, José, Raegan, and I discuss what’s about to happen. It’s a way of externally preparing for the event.” Jackson adds, “When deciding on an activity to accompany the tour, we consider the age group we are working with and a topic that would correlate with the current exhibitions.” CAM offers free tours for all ages through the Learning and Engagement program every Wednesday through Friday. To learn more visit camstl.org/tours.