Art therapy and kids: no pretense

Having some personal experience as a father with the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital, I've got a deep admiration for the work done there and elsewhere with children who need care.

Because hospitals are sterile spaces in more ways than one, art and interactive displays are often featured in those spaces, not least to calm the nerves of anxious parents. Art therapy works.

Via setpixal, here's an interactive wall designed for a children's hospital in New Jersey. Charles Forman, the artist, has a blunt take on creating art for children:

I've always been interested in art for children. The way children receive art is very true and unpretentious. Whether the art is in the form of a toy figure, a storybook, a video game, or an interactive installation, children know almost immediately whether they like it or not. Children don't stand around wondering about the deeper meaning of art that doesn't immediately strike them. They don't read the artist statements that justify why the art is uninteresting and why it should be respected. Children are very discriminating, yet completely open-minded. They are brutally honest and completely removed from the social pressure of being polite. Kids like shit or they don't.

Pretty accurate assessment.


Technorati tags: art therapy, setpixel, Charles Forman