By: Laurel Westphal, Josh Anstrand, and Anya Anand, Summer Studio Interns, DuPage Children’s Museum
Interning at DuPage Children’s Museum has been an experience unlike any other. For us three, the time that we’ve spent in The Studio has been some of the best time spent this summer. For recent Naperville Central High School graduate Josh, this summer has consisted of interning at the Museum and preparing for his college transition to DePaul University. Laurel, also a recent high school graduate, spent the summer working on creative projects and gaining experience for her future endeavors. For Naperville Central senior, Anya, working at the Museum this summer offered her a chance to exercise her creative abilities to help kids and prepare for her final year of high school.
Working in The Studio has taught us how to overcome various challenges. From learning how to talk to children in productive and thought provoking ways, to practicing patience on and off the floor, we learned to adapt to the ever-changing environment of the Museum. In the end, it was most important for us to work together to create programs that would leave a lasting impression on the kids that participate in them. Big Paint, one of the standout programs from this summer that we got the opportunity to design and organize, was a week-long program that invited children to experiment with alternative mark making and painting methods on a large scale.
When we first designed the program, we had our sights set on making the activity as large as the space allowed. Our goal was to have kids experience creative processes without any restraints on the size of the art or methods of painting.
With this in mind, we began collecting tools, brushes, sponges, and anything we could find that we thought the children would love exploring with. To truly achieve the scale that we wanted, we covered the back wall of The Studio in a large, polyblend canvas that was perfect for the kind of paint exploration we were looking for. And while this program has been one of the messiest of the summer, (we’re still finding places to scrub paint off of), it was well worth the outcome.
Seeing kids leave The Studio eager to recreate the magic of Big Paint elsewhere was rewarding. In the end, we were left with a collection of beautifully crafted paintings, created completely by children who visited the Museum. The Big Paint experience overall was an enlightening and joyous one. Each and everyday, the children seemed excited to be in The Studio with so much freedom.
We are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to create and participate in programs that help a new generation of kids think outside of the box. Fostering creativity and curiosity during Big Paint was a huge inspiration to us. It is our hope that after our time at the Museum we can adopt the enthusiasm and imagination of all of the kids we encountered.
Summer Art Internships
The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYEA) program provides funds to eligible Illinois not-for-profit arts organizations to support summer employment opportunities for high school students. The intent is to provide positive experiences and training in the arts to enhance personal growth, while supporting the mission and goals of the host organization.