The Young At Art Museum: Southern Florida’s Coolest Kid’s Museum
Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Friday, September 21st, 2012
The Young At Art (YAA) Children’s Museum in Davie, Florida, located just 30 miles north of Miami, has quickly become one of the coolest kids spaces in the southeast. The group has been around for quite a while, having first established itself in 1989 in a 3200 square foot space. By 1998 the museum had grown so much they needed to move into a 25,000 square foot facility. Continuing to expand its innovative and award winning programming, 2012 saw the fulfillment of a vision: a brand new, LEED Gold-Certified, 55,000 square foot building. It houses both Young at Art and the Broward County Library.
Glavovic Studio and AECOM formed the building’s architectural team and set out to establish an innovative space to foster the imagination and creativity of young minds. Many of the structure’s mechanical and infrastructure features are exposed in a visually striking way that allows the building itself to be a source of learning about green construction practices. It includes four major exhibit areas along with art studios for 2D visual arts, 3D graphics, photography and ceramics, all built with kids in mind.
The Chicago-based firm, Architecture is Fun, handled the design of the four major exhibit areas. In WonderScapes visitors are taken on a journey of words, literacy, music and play geared towards children from birth to age 4, all within the overall theme of Alice in Wonderland. The GreenScapes exhibit area helps children reconnect to nature and explore how art can facilitate environmental awareness. It includes Sandscapes, where children have the opportunity to fashion sculptures from natural materials, Pablo’s Magical Workshop and Theater for creating puppets and staging puppet shows, and STOMP, where children make percussion instruments from discarded objects and perform to international music.
CultureScapes is a section devoted to celebrating art from Haiti, Cuba, Africa, Japan, and the Seminole nation. The ArtScapes exhibit includes a variety of installations that teach children art history across time and cultures based on a kid’s view of the world, including The Cave with its prehistoric art, Avenue A celebrating graffiti art, and The Portrait Gallery’s Victorian art salons.
In addition to these four primary exhibits, The Knight Gallery is a space for changing installations. It currently features the making of the new YAA facility, including a time lapse video of the whole construction process. The entire facility is an amazing example of a public-private partnership to create a complete arts learning environment that engages children with a lively and entertaining appreciation for the role of arts in modern society. It is a true breeding ground for the next generation of artists that also manages to deliver a healthy dose of pure fun.
Image sources: knightarts.org, miamiherald.com, architizer.com, sun-sentinel.com