hands on areas

Hands-on Areas

Bart’s ArtVenture!

BAV 2Bart’s ArtVenture is the Museum’s state-of-the-art interactive gallery designed for families and visitors with children who want to explore art at their own pace, guided by their own interests. The two family spaces feature more than 15 hands-on learning stations that encourage exploration, discovery, and creativity. Take an ArtVenture with Bart the Art Bat!

  • Explore your creativity
  • Ignite your imagination
  • Discover new ways of looking
  • Create art – new art projects during the year
  • Make cool connections between art, the Museum, and your life
  • Have fun!

Bart’s ArtVenture is FREE and open to the public during regular Museum hours.

For large groups, one adult chaperone is required for every four children visiting Bart’s ArtVenture, and works with his/her assigned group of children.

What’s new in Bart’s ArtVenture?

Bart’s Art Cave

Bart’s Art Cave connects the two spaces that make up Bart’s Art Venture: the Sonat Gallery–designed for “toddlers and crawlers” and their adult companions−and the Hess Gallery, for children aged 5-12 and their families. The Cave houses small, family-friendly, interactive exhibitions by local artists. Exhibitions change periodically throughout the year.

Barts Art Cave 2015In Time
Opens April 2015

Artist’s statement, Krystalyn Robinson, senior, Alabama School of Fine Arts and member, Teen BMA:

“This piece describes my experience of volunteering in Bart’s ArtVenture for the past three years. Since everything starts with a line in the artistic process, my focus was to imitate the unconscious mark-making that you create as a young child and how you build upon your understanding of line, shape, color, value, and texture as you grow older.

“There is an indescribable power that I value in Bart’s Art Cave because it separates two places that seem like barriers between a child’s creative process. The cave physically connects two activity rooms that are designated for certain age groups. Yet these two spaces symbolize an ongoing process of growing and development of creativity as a child. This process should never stop. Parents teenagers, toddlers, and infants all have the ability to move from one activity room to the other through the cave. The cave is where I wanted to embody the connection between the transition of art-making as a child to adulthood. No form of art is inaccessible, and despite the rooms’ having target age groups, art has an ability to grab the attention of all age groups. As I get older, my art is shaped by experience, but places like Bart’s ArtVenture remind me to stay in touch with a raw, child-like creativity.”

Bart’s Art Bar

Hands-on activities activities  at Bart’s Art Bar are self-guided. Activities change every two months.

Step Into Art

Be sure to visit Bart’s ArtVenture where you can step into an artwork via greenscreen technology, take your photo, and email it home for a cool souvenir of your visit. Join an ancient Chinese horse procession, kick your heels up at a dance party, and discover that Bart’s ArtVenture is the place to be!

Bart’s Lair Under the Stairs

Bart the Art Bat is roosting under the stairs! Find Bart’s Lair on the second floor near the American Gallery. Visit this cozy space to find cool activities that Bart has developed for all ages. Explore the Museum’s collection, create a drawing, and discover new ways to look at art. This gallery features different activities during the year.

Lair 2014In the Round: Symbols, Scenes, and Circles!
Opens July 2014

Circles are all around us! Explore the Asian galleries in search of circles with a scavenger hunt. Discover the many symbols and scenes inside them. In the Lair, make your very own mon (that’s Japanese for family symbol), design a giant mandala, and create a circular scene. Then head to Bart’s ArtVenture and try painting the perfect circle at the “Brush It On” station.