If you're driving past the Elmhurst Art Museum at night and notice a ghostly glow emanating from the building, you're catching a glimpse of the engaging new exhibit inside.
SpotLight, an exhibit designed specifically for the museum, presents 10 artists who use light to create art.
From lightscapes that fill entire rooms to a miniature lit model of Chicago, SpotLight shows the many ways artists use art in their creations. The first piece of art takes up most of the lobby and is made of light tubes that can be walked through and under. Even though it's a fragile piece of art, the artist and the museum say it's OK for children to explore it and walk in it.
"It's meant to be kid-friendly," says Stephanie Grow, museum director of Development and Marketing.
The exhibit is fun and creative-one artist used laser levels (the kind you find at the hardware store) to create two artworks on the wall.
There's also a miniature cityscape under a dome, with a sun that circles it just as it does in real life. Add in the bits of smoke and clouds floating over the city, and it's a fascinating view of Chicago.
The art exhibit, like the museum, is fairly small and very easily navigable with young children. It's also best viewed at night, when the darkness outside lets the indoor lights shine brighter.
"If they come on a Friday night they could see the exhibit, and the museum's always free on Friday," Grow says.
To help foster an appreciation for art in its younger visitors, the museum also offers Art on the Run every day.
"They can work on a project and there's staff here to help," Grow says. "All projects can be adapted for little kids and some can be made more involved for older kids. Plus, they're always changing."
The museum also offers regular art classes for children from 18 months to adults. Check its website at elmhurstartmuseum.org for classes and schedules.
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