Fun was in the cards for the children and adults at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care on Friday, July 27. Teen interns from the Milwaukee Art Museum worked with budding artists from the center, decorating cards that will be used to create an installation to be on public display at the museum beginning this fall.
Eighteen teens from the ArtXpress Internship Program came to St. Ann Center’s Stein Campus, bringing Eames cards (11.5 X 7.5 in.) for decorating. Charles and Ray Eames designed the House of Cards game in 1952 as a deck of 54 slotted playing cards. The cards can be assembled together to form fantastic structures both large and small.
“It’s amazing to see the ArtXpress interns in this environment working directly with the little kids and also with the clients here at St. Ann Center—they’re really shining!” said Shannon Molter, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Associate Educator of Teen Programs. “They’re showing people how to use art materials, talking with them about their interests, doing mini interviews about their lives and what they love and then making art about it together. There are smiles all around.”
The teens provided an array of art supplies–from crayons, markers and watercolors to 3-D collage materials—to share with artists ranging in age from 5 years old to 70-plus. “Some of St. Ann Center’s elder clients may even remember playing with the original cards when they were children,” Shannon said.
For the past several months, a diverse audience of Milwaukeeans have been invited to participate in decorating Eames cards. The public art project is an effort to give the community a chance to interact with design and be valuable contributors to their art museum.
Ray Chi, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Milwaukee, will be turning thousands of completed cards into a sculpture that will be part of Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America, an exhibition presenting the concept of playfulness in postwar American design as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Serious Play will explore how employing playfulness allowed designers to bring fresh ideas to the American home, children’s toys and play spaces and corporate identities. The exhibition will be on display Sept. 28, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019 in the Baker/Rowland Galleries.