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posted: 11/9/2017 1:39 PM

Musical, art exhibit opening at DuPage Children's Museum

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  • The whimsical Climbing Keys is part of the new "Art Is Instrumental" exhibit opening this weekend at DuPage Children's Museum.

    The whimsical Climbing Keys is part of the new "Art Is Instrumental" exhibit opening this weekend at DuPage Children's Museum.
    Courtesy of DuPage Children's Museum

  • This PCV pipe organ is one of the instruments featured in the DuPage Children's Museum's new music and art exhibit.

    This PCV pipe organ is one of the instruments featured in the DuPage Children's Museum's new music and art exhibit.
    Courtesy of DuPage Children's Museum

 
By Dee Dee McDevitt
DuPage Children’s Museum

Visitors to the DuPage Children's Museum will play, hear and move to the sound of a variety of instruments while being surrounded by inspirational art in a new "Art Is Instrumental" exhibit opening this weekend.

During the opening weekend, the museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at 301 N. Washington St., Naperville.

The exhibit provides an opportunity to experiment with some new methods of engaging children with instrumentation. The focus is on artists who use instruments in their art -- in drawing, painting and sculpture -- which helps bring artwork to life and enhance the child's creative experience.

Members and visitors will be able to experiment with instruments and how they sound, build a sculpture that is also a musical instrument, paint a masterpiece while conducting an orchestra, be part of a band and hear how the instruments combine to make one piece of music, and play an "exploded" piano.

Children and families will have the opportunity to connect through creativity and beauty.

"Some of my favorite aspects of the exhibit include the Inspiration Station in the Studio, a drawing station where children can be inspired by still lifes of instruments," said Kim Stull, director of exhibits and operations, "as well as the Climbing Keys, a whimsical instrument inspired by Marcus Glenn's 'Keys to the Soul (Orange).' One-third of the keys have been replaced with an electronic keyboard that climbs the wall."

The exhibit has been in the works for more than a year, involving staff experts from every department.

"During this process, our senior exhibits manager, Mark Orleans, brainstormed, sketched and proposed many different open-ended learning experiences," Stull said. "We took all these ideas to a smaller group of people to refine them and then solicited input from our Education Committee -- a group of scientists, educators, mathematicians and artists."

All the pieces came together. Community members donated instruments for use in the exhibits. Artist George Berlin designed the interactive software for "Be the Conductor" and "Be the Band," and original music was composed by Mind Exchange Music for use throughout the exhibit spaces.

Live musical performances are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11, and Sunday, Nov. 12. On Saturday, Cielito Lindo Family Folk Music will perform at 10 and 11 a.m., while School of Rock will feature its Instrument Petting Zoo from 1 to 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, Rick Wild will play his acoustic guitar from 1 to 3 p.m.

In addition to all the new exhibit experiences, children will have an opportunity to participate in creating instrument-related art pieces in the studio throughout the weekend.

Admission to the DuPage Children's Museum is $12 for adults and children ages 1 and older, and $10 for seniors. It's free for members and children younger than 1 year old. For information, visit dupagechildrens.org.

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