Bill Leslie: Young visitor at the art museum

November 13, 2018
Bill Leslie: Young visitor at the art museum

I took my three-year-old granddaughter Elizabeth to the North Carolina Museum of Art last week, and she really seemed to enjoy the visit.

Sure, the cranberry-oatmeal cookie we shared in the middle of our tour helped give us an energy lift -- but even without the snack I believe Elizabeth would have come away with a new appreciation for art.

It was just the two of us. Our special morning out together. I chose the art museum as our destination based on a hospital visit Elizabeth and I shared in April. That was when my second granddaughter and Elizabeth’s cousin, Ava Marie Leslie, was born in Charlotte. Elizabeth and I passed the time roaming the halls of Presbyterian Hospital admiring artwork. Later, Elizabeth would tell her mom and dad just how much she enjoyed the time we spent together.

I told Elizabeth I love to “get into a piece of art.” That requires a bit of concentration, mindfulness and playfulness. It’s like you are absorbing the art instead of analyzing it. You let the art speak to you on a personal level. Kids love this. Anything to fire the imagination!

Two of the most powerful exhibitions at NCMA for me over the years were Monet and Ansel Adams. I am looking forward to having a similar experience in December when I will visit the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition in Raleigh. I fell in love with O’Keeffe’s work during a trip to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico several years ago.

Elizabeth and I concentrated our attention on the West Wing of the museum. No tickets required here. Still, the art was magnificent. It really makes you proud to be a North Carolinian. I am so thankful we have such a wonderful art museum in Raleigh.

Elizabeth is also very proud. And she can’t wait to get another delicious oatmeal cookie during our next visit.

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