Wacky Wednesdays: Free, fun, family-friendly summer event series

Child playing in the interactive gallery.

Child playing in the interactive gallery. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Are you looking for something to get your kids out of the house during the summer break? Join us at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art for a free, fun, family-friendly summer of art and film in our Wacky Wednesday Summer Series.

Every Wednesday from 10 am until 12 pm in June and July, independent and international children’s short films and animated versions of beloved classics are shown in the Brooks auditorium. Families also have the opportunity to make art together in our drop-in studio.

Several of the films are made by independent animators and directors from all over the world and are movies children rarely get to see.

The children’s short films July schedule:

  • Wednesday, July 1
    • Morningbird and Murmelton on Winter Holiday (Norway), One Cool Friend (USA), Wild About Books (USA), Walkin’ the Dog (Hungary), The Dot (USA), Bitseller (Spain).
  • Wednesday, July 8
    • Planting a Rainbow (USA), My Garden (USA), Linnea in Monet’s Garden (USA).
  • Wednesday, July 15
    • The Curious Garden (USA), Pet Show! (USA), Tumble Leaf: Shiny Coins and Tumble Leaf: Fig Finds a Shadow, Relax (USA), Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator (USA).
  • Wednesday, July 22
    • Giraffes Can’t Dance (USA), Elizabeti’s Doll (USA), The Trompeteer (Mexico), Ada and Otto (Estonia).
  • Wednesday, July 29
    • The Elephant and the Bicycle (Belgium/France), The Present (Germany), Fresh Out of School (France), Silent (USA), A Picture for Harold’s Room (USA),The Trip (USA), Extra Yarn (USA).

Previouly shown films:

  • Wednesday, June 3
    • Cloudette (USA, 2013), The Mobile (Mexico), Zebra (Germany), Art (USA), Harold and the Purple Crayon (USA), Sandra Boynton’s Alligator Stroll (USA), Super Spiny Shiny Grocey Store (Taiwan).
  • Wednesday, June 10
    • Little Matryoshka (Turkey), Where the Wild Things Are (USA), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (USA), Crazy Hair Day (USA), Leonardo the Terrible Monster (USA).
  • Wednesday, June 17
    • The Ant and the Grasshopper (USA), Antarctic Antics (USA), The Pink Helmet Posse (USA), Decorations (Japan).
  • Wednesday, June 24
    • The Magic Ferret (Canada), How Shammies Were Getting Married (Latvia), Birdwatching (Portugal), All the Colors of the Earth (USA), Little Ruddy (Latvia).

This summer is really special as we explore play and art and celebrate our special exhibition the Art of Video Games. There is an interactive gallery space just for kids!

Families in the interactive gallery during a Wacky Wednesday event.

Families in the interactive gallery during a Wacky Wednesday event. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Wacky Wednesdays are very popular and usually bring in a large crowd, so keep that in mind!

Our Wacky Wednesday series provides a creative outlet during the summer for families, as well as, day camps and child care centers.

As a reminder, if you are part of a daycare center for school, every visit to Brooks Museum is free as long as you make reservations. Click here for more information.

Wacky Wednesdays are open for groups of up to 60 students, and one chaperone is required for every eight students. All our galleries are open for kids to explore during and after the events happening downstairs.

Kids at the Art of Video Games exhibition.

Kids at the Art of Video Games exhibition. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Your family is always welcome at The Brushmark Restaurant, but we are asking you to help us preserve the artwork by not bringing in outside food and drinks. Click here to see the children’s menu. 

Click here to learn more about Brooks Museum’s events for kids and families.

Wacky Wednesdays Summer Series is sponsored by Thomas & Betts.

The Art of Video Games is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation; Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Shelby and Frederick Gans; Mark Lamia; Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

Home School at the Brooks!

Home School at the Brooks is a program offered through the Education department where we set aside four days of the year for students that are home schooled to come to the museum and have a docent-led tour and participate in a studio activity.

For our last home school session of 2010, held in November, we focused on a collection of three special exhibitions that comprise our Picturing America tour: William Christenberry: Photographs, 1961-2005; Winslow Homer: From Poetry to Fiction; and Remembering a House Divided: Robert King’s Photographs of Civil War Re-Enactors. The tour primarily focused on American identity of the 19th century and gave students and parents a chance to see how art reflected the cultural, historic, artistic, social, and economic landscape of the time.

In the studio, students did a series of three relief prints, or a triptych, where they focused on progressive change over time. The relief printing process reinforced the artistic process used by Winslow Homer and the subject matter paralleled William Christenberry’s focus on how things, specifically buildings, changed over time. Want to learn how to create your own triptych? Keep reading to see the process we used in the studio!

First, students created a simple outline of a building on their printing plate (foam board) using a pencil.

Next, the students printed. They covered their printing plate in paint using a brayer, placed a piece of white paper over the printing plate, pressed the paper down, and then removed the piece of paper like a sticker.


For the second print, they added texture onto the same printing plate. Our texture materials included seashells, a stylus, and other tools. After they added texture, the students printed again.

Finally, the students added any final details they wanted to include on their printing plate. With a final print, the students completed their triptych.

Once the process was complete, students matted their three prints onto a long sheet of paper and signed it like a printmaker – with a title, the number in the series, and their artist signature.

Looking back at some of the images from this home school session, I remember how much fun we (the Education staff) had making this print, too. In fact, my colleague was so smitten with hers that she hung it in our office. It’s a simple reminder that we are students of art, too… and it’s so much fun!!

If you’re interested in learning more about Home School at the Brooks, click here. We hope you can join us next year!

Check out more about the Brooks Education programs here.

This post was authored by our very own Tour Coordinator Sharon Atteberry.

EDUCATION:Lester School and the Community Mural Program

Meet Kathy Dumlao, Associate Curator of Education, as she talks about her new upcoming project with kids from all over Memphis. Her mural project gives children an outlet not only to paint their school walls, but to engage in the art world and gain an understanding of painting through the history of art.

Sherwood Elementary School Mural, Spring 2008

Beginning Friday, April 16th, the Brooks Education Department will present its fourth annual Community Mural Program. This year’s mural is our sixth, and will take place at Lester School in the city’s Binghamton neighborhood. Working with a small group of the schools’ seventh and eighth grade populations, Teaching Artist Jon Hart and Art Therapist Tammy Kurre will lead the students through a two-week project that will result in a mural of the students’ design on a wall near the entrance of the school.

Students will begin with a brainstorming and sketching session to come up with content for the mural’s design. The theme,Time and Change, will be enhanced by a visit from an alumnus of Lester, Sandra Harris, who graduated fifty years ago. Mr. Hart will compile the students’ sketches into the final design, which will reflect their thoughts and ideas about the theme. Following their brainstorming session, students will visit the Brooks to see how great artists over many centuries have used the medium of paint to convey big ideas, share important histories, retell myths and biblical stories, and represent the likenesses of significant people.

Treadwell Elementary School Mural, Spring 2009


After their inspirational visit to the museum, the students will embark on the process of transferring the mural design to the wall and filling it with paint. Gathering after school, students will take turns working on the mural with Mr. Hart and creating complementary art projects in the classroom with Ms. Kurre. A dedication reception for the students, their families, and teachers and administrators from the school will be held on Thursday, April 29th to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and their completion of the mural.

Orange Mound Community Center Mural, Students from Fairview Junior High School, Melrose High School, Sherwood Middle School, and Airways Middle School Spring 2007

Previous mural projects have been completed at the Orange Mound Community Center, Sherwood Elementary School, Campus School, Treadwell Elementary School, and Magnolia Elementary School.

The Community Mural Program is generously sponsored the Highland Area Renewal Corporation and an Arts Build Communities grant, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and ArtsMemphis.

Check Out theEuropean Vacation Family Day Re-Cap!!

Last Saturday, the Brooks celebrated another successful Family Day!

Kids and parents came from all over the city to particpate in FREE art activities including a gallery scavenger hunt, personalized passport-making, frame building and more!

Everyone also enjoyed a complimentary performance of Narnia presented by Playhouse on the Square! You should have seen the kids’ faces as the actors and actresses entered the museum, in full costume, right though the front door!

We were honored to have great and enthusiastic volunteers from Central High School and we thank them a thousand times for all of their help!

For more information about the Education Department or family events at the Brooks, email emily.greenberg@brooksmuseum.org!

To see if we took your picture, check out our Flickr roll on the right!

FREE:European VacationFamily Day at the Brooks!

Saturday, November 14 | 10 am – 1 pm
Enjoy Free Admisson and Activities! Open to the public!

Masterpieces family day 009

Set off on a wonderful European vacation that’s both relaxing for the parents and exhilarating for your children! Travel all over Europe and see the wonderful Masterpieces from Spain, France, and more!

Create your own passport and take an adventurous journey through the galleries! Then, enjoy a scavenger hunt as you search for clues in the artwork to take you to your next destination. Relax and take in a show in our auditorium as Playhouse on the Square performs several excerpts from Narnia!

Henderson family

Make memories and have your photo taken in front of ancient Roman ruins, eating in a French café, or lounging in an Impressionist landscape. Then, decorate a personalized frame with gemstones and sparkles to preserve your fun trip!

Make a postcard to mail to your grandparents, teachers, or even a pen pal! Your kids can draw whatever they want on a pre-prepared card! There’s something for everyone…there will be complimentary family guides for anyone who wants to go on their own through the galleries!

Schedule of Events
10 am -1 pm Activities in the Rotunda and Gallery
11:30 pm Narnia in the Auditorium presented by Playhouse on the Square