As January winds down the cold days and gray skies can definitely start to wear on your soul. Take time to warm your inner spirit through the arts. Today’s celebration is meant to inspire, uplift, and restore happiness in your being through the beauty of artistic endeavors. That can mean a lot of different things to different people, so follow your heart to what will bring you joy today. Whether you visit an art museum, listen to a symphony, see a play, or perhaps pick up your own paintbrush and create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, let the creativity in our world ignite a renaissance in your soul. Check out some great reads from a variety of art genres and become inspired!
Visit a museum and discover new worlds! Art is everywhere – in painting, sculpture, furniture, ancient Egyptian tombs, suits of armor or aboriginal carvings. Be it the MET,the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA Boston or the Getty there is inspiration at every turn for every interest.
The Museum by Susan Verde is an ideal way to introduce any child to the wonders that await when you visit the art museum. A young girl travels through the museum encountering inspiring works of art that are delightfully interpreted by illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Contradicting the “traditional” view of art museums as dull and unwelcoming to children, The Museum invites children to investigate and interpret art on their terms. It opens the door for creativity and inspiration, as well as fostering art appreciation. (PB)
From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, is the classic tale of Claudia and her brother, Jamie, who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to be in a museum after hours, for anyone who has wondered about the origins of the artwork hanging on the walls, and anyone who has felt under-appreciated. (MR-4/6)
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland guarantees you’ll never look at a Renoir the same way again. Narrated in turn by Renoir and seven of his models, the painting takes shape as the artists personal, professional and emotional influences impact the story of the artworks creation. (Mom’s Bookshelf)
Listen to Bach or Duke Ellington. There is a different style of music for every mood! Paint to music and see how it influences your color and design choices! Or read about a favorite composer to learn about their inspiration.
Luigi At The Opera by Ellie Alldredge-Bell. Luigi’s grandfather introduced him to “music stories” and Luigi loves listening to them in the car. Now he is thrilled to attend an Opera about ghost ship, and the best part is he is going with his grandfather! A delightful tale that reminds us that sharing our love of the arts is the best way to encourage appreciation in younger generations.(PB)
Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson shares the story of Florence Mills, the daughter of slaves, who sang like a bird and, when given a chance at stardom, chose to hold true to her ideals! (PB)
Moonlight on the Magic Flute, Magic Treehouse #41 by Mary Pope Osborne has Jack & Annie traveling back in time to Mozart’s Vienna. But why is a precocious six year-old named Wolfie distracting them, or is he the true mission? (ER-2)
Maybe you get inspired to move and groove – and the art that is closest to your heart is dance! From Baryshnikov to Balanchine, Fossey to Fred Astaire, whether you are inspired to pirouette or pop-n-lock, dance can make your spirit soar!
Jazz Age Josephine: Dancer, singer–who’s that, who? Why, that’s MISS Josephine Baker, to you! – by Jonah Winter A triple threat and independent spirit Josephine Baker did it all with style. She crushed the status quo and changed the face of entertainment forever! (PB)
Dancers of the World by Aurelia Hardy takes readers on a voyage around the globe through native dance styles. Do a jig, try a waltz or grace the stage in a ballet – it’s all here for dance enthusiasts to explore. (ER-2/3)
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan follows the story of the van Goethem sisters, who in 1878 after their father’s death, find their best prospects at the Paris Opera where Marie trains to be a ballerina and Antoinette joins the chorus. Faced with difficult choices, and possibilities for a new life, each must decide whether the necessary sacrifices are worth the cost. (Mom’s Bookshelf)
“To Be, or Not To Be” Inspired! Enjoy a play by Shakespeare or delight in a Rogers & Hammerstein musical. If you can’t catch a live performance in your area, cuddle up for an in-home viewing of a Hollywood version of a classic stage production.
Much Ado About Nothing – A comedy, tragedy, love story, betrayal, redemption, and it’s all told as only Shakespeare can. This movie version sticks to the story and brings it to life with some famous faces, (most of whom kids these days recognize from the Harry Potter films!) (YA- 12 and up)
Check your local high schools and theater groups to catch a live production of My Fair Lady, The Music Man, or Once Upon a Mattress. It is a great way to support your arts community and introduce kids to theater without a significant cost.