Happy October, families! As we look forward to cooler weather, trick-or-treating, and of course, costuming, I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite spooky sculptures.
Meet Spider by Louise Bourgeois! This gigantic sculpture can be found hanging around the beautiful oak trees in NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
While some may find spiders creepy, Bourgeois saw her spiders as an homage to her mother. Like a spider, her mother was weaver in the family’s tapestry restoration business. Bourgeois admired her mother’s hard-working and protective spirit. This can be seen in the looming nature of the Spider sculpture. It stretches out its long arms to welcome you into its warm embrace.
If you would like to learn more about Louise Bourgeois and her life, I would highly recommend reading Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois with your kids.
Come say “hello” to Louise Bourgeois’ friendly Spider at NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden and then find all sorts of surprising sculptures with your family. Did you know the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is open all week and is free to everyone? After your visit, here’s a suggested art activity to do together!
The Spider and Her Web
Letter-sized cardstock paper
Glue or tape
Toilet paper roll
Draw a spider web with the white crayon on the cardstock. I would recommend making thick lines to ensure they are visible in the final product.
Using your watercolors, paint the background of your spider web. The wax of the white crayon will resist the paint and show through the colors.
Take your toilet paper roll and make 8 cuts around the bottom of the roll. Bend the cuts up and see your spider’s legs come to life!
Use the markers to decorate your spider—maybe she needs eyes or clothes or whatever your imagination wants!
Glue or tape your spider to the dry painting… and tada! You have created your own friendly spider work of art!
by Elise Solomon
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