Mia’s Art Adventure, at Home!

Art Adventure is a program that engages elementary school students with artworks from the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s (Mia) collection – encouraging creativity, critical thinking and global awareness through in-depth explorations of art across various cultures and time periods.

This is my seventh year as a “Picture Person” in Mia’s program, where I get to spend hours sitting on a stool with a docent in the galleries learning about the history, style, meaning and legacy of certain works of art. And then I get the honor of going to my kids’ elementary school and leading their classes in sessions about each piece. We learn, laugh, ask questions and sometimes do a craft.

I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure of leading Art Adventure for all three of my kids, and it’s one of my favorite memories of their elementary school years. It is so fantastic that Mia offers this program.

But this year, right in the middle of the Art Adventure season, schools changed to distance learning because of COVID-19. Unfazed, my daughter Annie and I decided to keep going with Art Adventure sessions for her classmates, but do them on YouTube.

Mia took notice and interviewed me about it. You can read it here:

Critical Thinking in Critical Times: When the novel coronavirus hit Minnesota, forcing the closure of schools, Greg Swan wasn’t about to let it cancel art, too.

And if you’re interested in learning about the additive process of sculpture from the Nayarit people, here’s our video:

All of the credit and attention for this belongs to Annie. She is so extremely talented, comfortable on camera, and is an artist to the core. She’s seriously the best. It’s an honor to be her dad.

Art rocks. Thanks again to Mia for putting together such a stellar curriculum and helping get art out of the museum and into these kids’ lives.


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