If you've ever given your child a gift - only to discover that
the cardboard box it arrived in demanded more of their attention
than the actual present - then you'll understand the allure behind
the new exhibit, Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard at the Chicago
It's a back-to-basics exhibit that's so creative it's
The room is filled with cardboard boxes. There are cardboard
boxes that have been created as forts, others that have been turned
into mazes and others that were cut into pieces so the kids could
make artwork out of them.
And apparently, cardboard boxes demand the attention of even the
tiniest guests, who were examining themselves in mirrors glued onto
boxes - and the big kids, who were running through the mazes and
climbing into the boxes.
The whole point is that children should - and will - do whatever
they want with the cardboard, whether it's using it to inspire
their own art or to inspire them to jump on it, climb on it or tear
Unboxed is even cooler because the staff expects each child to
make their own mark on the exhibit, whether it's by moving the
boxes to another area of the room or by coloring on the cardboard
artwork decorating the walls.
Just in case you think you should skip the exhibit and let your
kids simply play with shipping boxes at home, think again. On
select weekends, artists will be on hand to help your kids make
their own art out of the cardboard, and a craft area is staffed by
museum personnel to make sure your child is making the most out of
his cardboard artwork experience.
There's also a 43-foot cardboard mural decorating the wall
outside the exhibit made from scratch by Chicago artist Megan
Hovany - this mural alone is worth the trip to the museum. It took
Hovany about three months to create it, and you can watch her do it
in fast-forward mode in a video showing inside the exhibit.
It's time to think out of the box.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.
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