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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Art Activities for Little Gallery Goers

Published on March 12th, 2015 in Entertainment

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • Veletrzni Palac

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

  • GUD Gallery

 

Prague is infamous for its grey winters; when it's not snow covered it is less than magical, especially for those like me who spend the majority of the year here. Add restless kids to the picture and indoor activities aren't just fun they are a means of survival.

 

During these chilly months, my daughter and I have been exploring Prague's art class offerings for knee-high gallery goers. Two of the most enjoyable art activities we've discovered are at Veletržní Palace and GUD Galerie (an abbreviation for the Czech “Galerie umění pro děti” which means “art gallery for children”).

 

Veletržní Palace is one of my favorite branches of the National Gallery for its functionalist exterior and marvelous collection of social realist works. Its Thursday drop-in art classes, held in the Korso, a spacious ground-floor wing of the museum that is used for performances and gatherings, are a big hit with local parents, myself included.

 

Each session is inspired by a different genre of art. On a recent visit we “worked” in the abstract manner of the New New Painters, squirting primary- colored paint into Ziploc bags and smushing it around to make new colors, building and painting mix-material sponge sculptures, and toothpick painting neon ink on black paper and viewing it under a magnifying glass.

 

 

  

 

 

The best thing about this class is its relaxed atmosphere. Kids can wander from station to station at their own pace, as the artistic spirit moves them. Messiness is not just tolerated it is encouraged though aprons are made available. And while the instructors don't speak much English, the projects are self-explanatory and you need no Czech to get by.

 

Drop in any time between during the length of the session; admission includes entrance to the museum (which houses a ground-floor play area just beyond the cash desk if you have the energy to see it afterward)!

 

The museum's wonderful Café Jedna, also located on the Korso, has become a favorite hangout for local hipsters thanks to phenomenal coffee by Original Coffee, beer by up-and-coming Prague brewery Vinohradský pivovar, and a selection of light meals and wholesome snacks (pita and hummus, salads, soups, and baked goods) that allow your budding artist to replenish her creativity after art class

 

The next stop on our kiddie gallery hop was Old Town's Galerie GUD. Located near the Jewish Quarter on Franz Kafka Square, this one is the more conveniently located of the two museums, especially if you are visiting Prague and happen to be downtown site seeing anyway.

 

 

  

 

 

This is an art space especially designed for kids where the art that they create is displayed on the museum's walls alongside local artists whose works are on sale in the gallery. Visitors freely explore three different rooms, each set up for a different activity – there is no instructor; upon paying admission you receive an information sheet for each station.

 

On the day we visited we cut out a funky patchwork dress for a paper doll, twisted tissue paper and wire into a colorful bloom that we then planted in a foam “garden,” and created highlighter-on-paper cut-outs for display in the black-light room. There's also a fun attraction involving a ceiling, net, balloons and a ladder (you've been warned)! My companion was enthralled for the better part of an hour, although older kids with a longer attention span might be able to make an afternoon of it.

 

Both venues feature rotating exhibits/activities so it's like a new experience every time – and a great way to keep boredom at bay.

 

 

Veletržní Palac

National Gallery Prague
Dukelských Hrdinů 530/47, Prague 7
www.ngprague.cz
tel 224 301 003
hours Wednesday 16:00–17:15; Thursday 10:15–11:30 and 15:30–16:45
tram 17, 24 to Veletržní palác
entry 60 CZK
age group 1.5–5 years

 

GUD Galerie

Nám. Franze Kafky 24/3, Prague 1
www.galeriegud.cz/
tel 732 623 862
hours Tuesday–Friday 14:00–18:00; Saturday–Sunday 10:00–18:00
metro Staroměstská
entry Children 50 CZK; adults 100 CZK
age group 2-15 years

 

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