Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Map making at the Rochester Art Center

The Rochester Center for the Arts is a center that focuses on modern art. They usually have monthly family days on one Saturday each month to focus on a family friendly art project that is related to one of the exhibits on display. This month the activity focused on map making with a blank map of Rochester that allowed children to choose what things they found important. This was an especially hard thing for my kids because we spend only a small part of our time in Rochester. We still enjoyed it, though the boys found making sculptures with the pipe cleaners far more interesting than coloring a map. Collin did manage to finish his--choosing the river as an important element. I thought it was a wise choice, rivers are often so central to a city's identity. It was about the time that I was marvelling at my tweener son's intelligence that my daughter felt a need to point out that the river sat right behind the windows where we were and I had been watching the ducks. Oh well.

I am not usually into modern art. I much prefer to see easy to understand, traditional art. It is who I am. Though I did much enjoy one piece in particular. It was a thought provoking film projected on two walls. One wall showed the drive Israeli's often make on well paved, open roads that often takes an hour. In contrast, Palestinians who travel between cities in same areas travel in horrible, congested roads that appear to suffer from bomb damage. They must deal with several checkpoints that don't always appear to make sense; their time to travel the same distance is five and a half hours. It was a difficult piece to explain to my children. While the piece was an emotional one, it did not--nor do I believe was able to, interpret the historical context of the differences. If only the violence could finally stop. Living with constant security concerns, violence or retaliation is good for neither people.

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