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June 24, 2008

Art Is For Your Heart

StephI'll never forget the time my brother and I watched an episode of The Muppet Babies where they made an art museum in their nursery. For the rest of the day we drew and colored and hung our artwork all over the playroom, inviting Mom & Dad to see only after we'd covered every inch of the walls.

My brother went on to attend art school many, many years later. And I went on to pursue theatre in Chicago, paying rent by working in the Art Institute's Museum Shop selling books and posters and eventually working through one of the most successful and largest Monet exhibits of all time. Possibly the longest hours I'd ever worked, but probably my favorite and most interesting place I'd ever work. I was trained by Ed Harris' dad, and my new fascinating co-workers took me to courtyard parties, dinners with hummus, and through the musty paperbacked shelves of Powell's Books. We ate cheese sandwiches on our lunch break at the School of the Art Institute's cafeteria and walked through the Hall of Armor at night, with all the lights off, chills up our spines the entire time. (I swear one time I saw blood on the floor.)

The Art Institute of Chicago is offering free admission during Target Free Summer Evenings on Thursdays & Fridays from now until Labor Day. There's nothing like visiting any museum at night- what a special treat for the kids (Parents.com has rated it the #1 art museum for kids) or just you and your date.

I think the statues and artwork come to life at dusk- whether you see it or not- you can certainly feel it. I'll be ascending the staircase between the two lions this summer. Thinking about that time in my life, the culture that awaits to be admired there in the heart of the city, and imagining the art shows to follow in my own children's playrooms. No telling where it will take them...

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

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