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Red Grooms' New York City at CMOM (slide show)

The latest CMOM show, "Red Grooms' New York," introduces kids to the colorful, Pop-inspired world of artist Red Grooms via eight works that explore his home city.

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

Photograph: Alex Strada

"Red Grooms' New York" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan


If the masterpieces that your tot usually unveils are a little more Picasso than Michelangelo, then the new exhibit "Red Grooms’ New York City," opening at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on Friday, June 28, is a must-see. Curious little ones and art enthusiasts alike will be impressed by Grooms’s unique abstract style that combines various media and diverse techniques to depict a theatrical view of the city in which he lives. Whether they end up spying the lounging businessmen on the 14th story of one of the artist's topsy-turvy building sculptures or playing with skyscraper blocks while reading a subway-themed picture book right beside them, young visitors will leave the museum with new perspectives of the incredible city around them. Here are five things to do at the new exhibit.
 
Behold and sketch Rockefeller Center
Kids can sketch a frozen moment in time inspired by Grooms's 3-D masterpiece Rockefeller Center. Perched on a bench placed right in front of the installation (on display in a Plexiglas cube safe from curious fingers), kids have the perfect view for sketching. Clipboards, paper and charcoal pencils are provided, so stand back and watch as they either attempt to mimic Grooms’s intricate detail work or doodle up a metropolitan rendering of their own imagination.

Come up with an original name for your own abstract art
Red Grooms coined the term Sculpto-Pictorama to describe his trademark style that combines sculpting, painting and the diorama, all into one eye-popping piece of art. Teach the kids to discern the media and steps that were involved in the creation of such works as Francis Bacon and the double-decker Wollman Rink. Help your kids brainstorm their favorite art mediums and try to combine them into one, big, original mouthful. (They're bound to be inspired to get to work on one once you're home.)

Pretend to be the driver of an MTA bus
Since the Grooms exhibit showcases all things metropolitan, it wouldn’t be complete without public transportation. An MTA bus (well, half of one) is stationed for a pit stop in the hallway between Grooms’s displays. Three kids at a time can sit at their own personal driver’s seat and have fun tinkering with the steering wheel and light-up knobs and gages.

Play I Spy in front of the Francis Bacon piece
In the adjacent room, you’ll find even more city-inspired works by Red Grooms. You won’t be able to miss the massive Portrait of Francis Bacon, which perfectly showcases the artistic process behind Grooms’s one-of-a-kind style. As the placard posted beside it states, Grooms managed to incorporate his actual paintbrushes, tubes, cans and studio debris in the work. This massive piece is perfect for an impromptu game of I Spy. Challenge kids to spot as many everyday objects stuck to the base of Francis Bacon as they can.

Design and create your own Pop Art Pictorama
The highlight of the exhibit is probably the art station where kids are encouraged to create their own Pop Art Pictorama to take home. The museum has provided tons of Grooms-approved objects—everything from bottle caps and rubber bands to straws, clay and colored wire. These random junk-drawer treasures can be transformed, with a little bit of imagination, into kids' favorite city scenes or a world of their own creation. The sky is the limit, and then some.

"Red Grooms's New York City" will be on view at the Children's Museum of Manhattan from June 28 to January 5, 2014.


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