hands on areas

Hands-on Areas

Bart’s ArtVenture!

BAV 2Bart’s ArtVenture is the Museum’s state-of-the-art interactive gallery designed for families and visitors with children who want to explore art at their own pace, guided by their own interests. The two family spaces feature more than 15 hands-on learning stations that encourage exploration, discovery, and creativity. Take an ArtVenture with Bart the Art Bat!

  • Explore your creativity
  • Ignite your imagination
  • Discover new ways of looking
  • Create art – new art projects during the year
  • Make cool connections between art, the Museum, and your life
  • Have fun!

Bart’s ArtVenture is FREE and open to the public during regular Museum hours.

For large groups, one adult chaperone is required for every four children visiting Bart’s ArtVenture, and works with his/her assigned group of children.

What’s new in Bart’s ArtVenture?

Bart’s Art Cave

Bart’s Art Cave connects the two spaces that make up Bart’s Art Venture: the Sonat Gallery–designed for “toddlers and crawlers” and their adult companions−and the Hess Gallery, for children aged 5-12 and their families. The Cave houses small, family-friendly, interactive exhibitions by local artists. Exhibitions change periodically throughout the year.

Origami-Barts Art Cave 2Cranes in the Cave
Opens July 2014

How many Japanese origami birds can our visitors to Bart’s ArtVenture create? The Japanese people believe that if you fold 1000 origami cranes, you are passing on good wishes and thoughts of hope and peace to the recipient.

Come in the create your own cranes to pass on the someone special and to leave as a wish for Birmingham! Write your wish on a piece of origami paper, fold it into a crane, and add to our installation in Bart’s Art Cave. Our goal is 2000 birds.

Bart’s Art Bar

Hands-on activities activities  at Bart’s Art Bar are self-guided; Teen BMA members are on hand to help visitors on Saturdays 11am-1pm.

“Les Portraits de MM. De Béthune Jouant avec un Chien” (Children of the Marquis de Béthune Playing with a Dog), 1761, François Hubery Drouais. Oil on canvas. The Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection, 1991.254.Matchbox Guitars
March-April 2015

Make like the kids in our François-Hubert Drouais painting and play the guitar!

Fashion your own matchbox guitar to strum when you’re at home.

T.2014.435_01a_p01H_PortraitPlay with Clay
May-June 2015

Create a sculpture in the whimsical manner of Frank Fleming! Use self-hardening clay to create an animal, a make-believe figure, or whatever comes to mind.

Step Into Art

Be sure to visit Bart’s ArtVenture where you can step into an artwork via greenscreen technology, take your photo, and email it home for a cool souvenir of your visit. Join an ancient Chinese horse procession, kick your heels up at a dance party, and discover that Bart’s ArtVenture is the place to be!

E10638.jpgKids at Play
February-April 2015

Join kids at play in Small Treasures and the Museum’s collection, then stop by Bart’s ArtVenture for your own playful picture to take home!


Bart’s Lair Under the Stairs

Bart the Art Bat is roosting under the stairs! Find Bart’s Lair on the second floor near the American Gallery. Visit this cozy space to find cool activities that Bart has developed for all ages. Explore the Museum’s collection, create a drawing, and discover new ways to look at art. This gallery features different activities during the year.

Lair 2014In the Round: Symbols, Scenes, and Circles!
Opens July 2014

Circles are all around us! Explore the Asian galleries in search of circles with a scavenger hunt. Discover the many symbols and scenes inside them. In the Lair, make your very own mon (that’s Japanese for family symbol), design a giant mandala, and create a circular scene. Then head to Bart’s ArtVenture and try painting the perfect circle at the “Brush It On” station.