Children can step into the world of art and literature with the latest Flint Hills Discovery Center exhibits.
Framed: Step into Art and Storyland: A Trip through Childhood Favorites will open to the public Saturday and will be on display through May 12.
Framed has interactive displays that place visitors into the world associated with the artworks of four featured artists.
John Singer Sargent is represented with a campsite display, Diego Rivera is illustrated by a harvest display, Grant Wood is portrayed by a dinner table display and Clementine Hunter is represented through a plantation display.
Storyland offers interactive displays to help depict scenes from “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “The Snowy Day” and “Where’s Spot.” The exhibit also allows visitors to create their own story with Johnny Kaw and the School House.
Education curator Stephen Bridenstine said the spring season often brings in students on school field trips. “We wanted an exhibit that deals with our school-age audience,” he said.
Jay Nelson, art curator and former owner of the Strecker Nelson Gallery, said it’s a great way to introduce children to art.
“It’s helping them imagine themselves in a work of art,” he said. “The ability to imagine is the beginning of empathy and sympathy for other people. If you can imagine yourself sitting at this table with other people, it helps you to come to a wider appreciation of different experiences than your own.”
The exhibits, created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum, are offered in both English and Spanish.
“When we search for traveling exhibits, knowing that an exhibit is bilingual is a huge benefit for us, and it definitely goes into our decision-making process,” Bridenstine said. “Knowing that it can reach an even-wider audience is huge for us.”
The Discovery Center will host Storytelling Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 as a part of the exhibit, focusing on early childhood literacy for ages 2 through 8.
The event will include storytelling with live musicians, a puppet show and art activities from the Beach Museum of Art.
Tallgrass Tour Bus events will be Lindsborg Folk Art Tour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 2, ($45 for members and $50 for non-members) and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve/Chase County from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27 ($18 for members and $22 for non-members).
Find out more about registration at flinthillsdiscovery.org/framed-storyland.
Lectures along with the exhibit include Animals into Art panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, The Legend of Johnny Kaw panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, and Framed: Step into Art Gallery Tour with Jay Nelson at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18.
Bridenstine said the tour led by Nelson is more intended for adults.
“It’s a kids exhibit, but there’s so much story behind these artists and paintings,” he said.