Located at 1 Lincoln Center, at the corner of South Salina and West Fayette streets, the museum is the brainchild of Susan Fix, an art teacher at Liverpool’s Chestnut Hill Elementary School. She also has overseen some New York State Fair art exhibits, and saw how few categories existed for young kids. Fix is now the executive director of the Museum of Young Art and, appropriately, the first exhibit in the museum features the work of her students, in grades kindergarten through five. “She took a few of the different art projects that the kids had, and I framed them and we put them together,” Mastine explained.
The Museum of Young Art is about the art, certainly, but also about having fun with art. “Our goal is to be a combination of the Everson and the Museum of Science and Technology,” Mastine said. He added that the Museum of Young Art will differentiate itself from other galleries and museums by creating a very childlike atmosphere in which to appreciate art.
No kidding: All the art on display at the newly opened Museum of Young Art will come from the creative minds of Syracuse area children. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
“This is a gallery for and by kids,” Mastine stressed. “We’re going to have little stations set up where they can paint, draw or sculpt.” Children will have the option to take their creations home with them or leave them at the museum, where they might become part of the next exhibit.
The Museum of Young Art is a not-for-profit organization entirely funded by grants, admission donations and the charity of others, Mastine added. “We got a great grant from Syracuse University, the initiative grant for startup businesses.” SU also offered more than monetary support. “We are working right now with Syracuse University with some of their marketing classes,” Mastine said. Those students are helping to create flyers and use other media to raise awareness about the museum in the Syracuse community.
This current exhibit will stay up until the museum finds more artwork to display. “We are trying to contact all the schools in the area,” said Mastine. Kids’ work from art classes will be a major source of material if enough schools get involved with the museum. However, schools will not be the only source of art for the museum. “I’m sure eventually we will take on independent child artists,” said Mastine. It may take some time to find young artists with enough material to fill out a show, but all the artwork will be strictly amateur. “We’re not going to be accepting artwork from professional artists,” said Mastine.
Soon, patrons at the Museum of Young Art may be able to buy some of the art on display. “We’re in the process of finding a company to do high-quality reproductions,” he added. “With the permission of the children, we would like to sell prints.” The financial details have not been resolved, but Mastine hopes part of the proceeds would go to the museum for making the prints and facilitating the sales, while some would go to the artists.
The museum is open Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The suggested donation is $4 for adults, $3 for students. However, Mastine noted that those figures are merely suggestions, not rigid admission fees. “We’re not going to exclude anybody,” he said. Mastine urges kids, families, parents and everyone who enjoys artistic expression to “come down and take a look and get excited, because it’s only going to get better!”
For more information, call 424-7800.