The new The MoMA Art Lab app is for every parent who knows that kids are the original modern artists. Think about it: a child’s artistic interpretation of the world is not always realistic or literal, they love to use non-traditional materials (macaroni, anyone?), and the resulting works of art are rarely understood by those around them.
The fabulous Museum of Modern Art in New York City knows this too, and their new free (yay, free!) iPad app translates the hands-on programs of the MoMA Art Lab into a virtual art lab for your tablet.
There is certainly no shortage of drawing and art apps for kids–we’ve recommended Kid VanGogh, Crayola DigiTools, and others–but this one goes beyond playing with shapes, lines, and colors. The MoMa Art Lab App guides you through different styles of modern art and then lets you give it a try yourself, just like a great art teacher would do. What kid wouldn’t want to create a Alexander Calder style mobile, or assemble a collage in the style of Jean Arp?
There are clever projects like creating a shape poem, collaborating on group drawings, or creating a sound composition. And what I really like are the prompts to inspire you, like “make a person using geometric shapes”–great for kids like my seven-year-old who likes to draw, but can get intimidated when he doesn’t know where to begin.
The MoMA Art Lab app for iPad is geared toward kids aged seven and up, but I had fun playing around with it too. Still, it’s so simple to use, even a preschooler could pick it up without much instruction.
I hope they continue to add to the content and projects, as it does seems that my kids might devour the existing content quickly. But for a free app and as an introduction to modern art, I think it’s a great starting point. Especially considering the finished works of art can be shared directly with MoMA (with your approval). What parent wouldn’t be thrilled to be able to say that their kid’s artwork up on the Museum of Modern Art website somewhere?