Hope Outdoor Gallery – Austin, Texas

Hope Outdoor Gallery with KIDS!

spray painted hearts, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Creating art is a wonderful method of self expression and gives your brain a break from the day to day thoughts. These breaks let your brain reset and refresh.  Research shows

“the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of them are exactly the same day in, day out!”

Can you EVEN? I haven’t a clue how ‘they’ figure out that number, but an even worse number? Most of those thoughts are negative. Think about that for a second – MOST of the 95% of the thoughts people have day in and day out are negative. How very sad.

Creating art gives you a way to get out of those normal and negative thoughts and into a quiet and meditative state. Creating art trains you to concentrate on details. Paying attention to the here and now of your environment while you create is a fun and easy way to retrain your brain!  A perfect example for adults are the new coloring books – quiet and peaceful relaxing art.  Everyone is getting on the art creation bandwagon!

According to M. Berberian Professor for the Graduate Art Therapy Program and NYU suggests coloring has many positive benefits

“Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness”

Kids can experience stress, too, and isn’t relaxation a great tool to offer kids? Teach your kids how to handle stress now and offer them a life long tool for them to use to improve their life.

The Hope Outdoor Gallery is the ONLY park of its kind in the USA. Of course it is in Austin, Texas – the city that is proudly weird!!  Located at a park at 11th and Baylor in Austin, this educational project started in March 2011 with the help of artist Shepard Fairey.

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Kids love creating

boy creating art with spray paint, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

When kids are young, they love creating. Your refrigerator gets covered with art from school and home fun. But, there comes a time when kids start to question their ability. They wonder if their art is ‘good enough’ and they become hesitant to create. Once they grow up then forget about creating art.

Picasso famously said, 

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Giving your child opportunities to create lets them express themselves without judgement. Hopefully they’ll keep that creativity into adulthood!

boys with spray cans in front of spray painted walls, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Spray paint

Kids love painting and get opportunities at school but always with a paint brush. Think to yourself how often you have painted whether you are creating art or painting the bathroom – you usually use a brush. THIS art creation opportunity lets you use a spray can – a very unusual fun opportunity for kids and adults alike.

Learn something new every day. In this case you’ll learn that spray paint is hard to control. It runs if you spray it too thickly and the overspray goes everywhere. Be sure to dress the kids in their play clothes that are OK to get messy.

spray painted flowers on white background, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Choose and plan

I let my kids each bring a friend and told them that each group could choose 2 colors of spray paint. I chose white and black paint that both groups could use.

kids choosing spray paint at store, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

This gave the kids the opportunity to:

Think about the pros and cons to different choice options.

Work together with a partner.

Work together as a group. In the end, they discussed sharing all four colors and not just the two their group chose.

Help at the check out. Each person got to scan a paint can. Squeeze in learning wherever you can!

boy helping check out at hardware store, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Admire other artist’s work

Art appreciation begins with accepting that ALL artwork has value – even the art that you don’t like. Art is a way to express feelings, make statements, and make  people think. Walk about the gallery and look at the art others have created  before you. Talk about what you like!

Spraypainted Artwork, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Encourage the kids to:

Find something they  like.

Find something they don’t like.

Find something they think it really weird.

Find something that makes you wonder….

I found it really curious that even the bush got painted!

spray painted bush, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Focus and Pride

Stand back and watch the focus on each little face while they paint. Creation requires focus and concentration. It is always a good idea to practice both at every opportunity!

Smile when they are proud of their work. It is great to take pride in your work!

Girl in front of spray painted wall, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hope Outdoor Gallery – The How – To

First of all this is an ART GALLERY and NOT a public park.

You have to get permission to  participate. Email for permission to paint: murals@hopecampaign.org    You’ll need to fill out a request, sign a waiver, submit a sketch of art plan, and pick up paint passes IN PERSON (Sat and Sun 11 am – 4 pm). Artists must be 18 years old or WITH an adult.

The park hours are 9 am – 7pm.  CLOSED at dark.

Second, the current location has VERY little parking. A move to a larger place with more space and more parking is in the works!

HOPE Outdoor Gallery

1101 Baylor Street

Austin, Texas 78703

Enjoy another example of what Austin does best – be proudly weird and unusual!

The Educational Tourist at Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

If Austin, the state capital of Texas is on your bucket list, read more about the cool things to see and do!

Austin’s weirdest ever – the Cathedral of Junk

Austin’s State Capital – Visit with KIDS

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Happy Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Hope Outdoor Gallery, www.theeducationaltourist.com

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    The Hope Outdoor Gallery was so interesting. I love your article and agree that it’s a wonderful opportunity to allow your children to see art out of the context of “art school”. The gallery is constantly evolving and showing new and thought provoking works of art. Definitely worth the visit and always provides good conversation for the whole family. Thanks for the article!

  2. Hannah says:

    What an in depth article, as a nanny I enjoy taking kids to the gallery but had not once thought about signing them up to participate! Also the suggestion to limit the amount of paint to use so that the kids can plan and work together and letting them swipe at check out is genius! I can not wait for the next visit:)

  1. August 21, 2017

    […] Hope Outdoor Gallery – Let the KIDS paint! […]

  2. August 21, 2017

    […] Hope Outdoor Gallery – Make your Mark with Spray Paint […]

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