Today I made my second annual pilgrimage to Last year during my first visit to this sacred spot amid the farms of Amherst, MA I was so moved by the aesthetics of the space, the spirit with which it was founded, and the joy it represented, tears fell as I walked into the main hall. It was church. (Click on photo to take a virtual tour) As I once again walked reverently through the galleries a dozen happy thoughts filled my mind ... all had titles with nature's creatures as the main character. Each included a cozy reading spot, an attentive child (including my own three), the subtle richness of science and math and heart, and a gentle lesson. One gallery showed the common subject of birds expressed in the uncommon artistic styles of Leo Leonni and Eric Carle. Another gallery showed the progression of taking theThe Spiderwick Chronicles byTony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black "From page to screen." The last gallery held a hauntingly comprehensive repertoire of picture book art and interpretation by Allen Say. In this same gallery a year ago was the art of The Wizard of Oz.
Last year I walked leisurely in this kid-friendly environment, breathing in every interpretive caption trying to memorize every photo and painting. I walked into the library or as it's called, "the museum's living room" to see kids and parents reading together. I stopped in the studio and after overcoming my fear of making a mistake, created a collage of my visit using the papers, pens, glue, and cardstock provided, figuring if I can't freely create something artistic here, where can I?
Today's visit was different from last year's...it was way too quick. I got to the entrance with 30 minutes til closing mistakenly thinking the museum closed at 5pm not 4pm. The admission price was 1/2 since I was so late. An enormous bargain even with 30 minutes to go! I didn't read every caption or try to memorize the visuals. I did have a moving experience, though and can't wait til my third annual trek back.