Taste of Greece comes to the NGV Kids Summer Festival 2023

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The NGV Kids Summer Festival returns this school holidays with nine days of free performances, artist-led workshops and activities for the whole family, celebrating the theme ‘Your Art Adventure!’.

Taking place at both NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from January 14–22, this year’s festival invites kids and their families to celebrate NGV exhibitions and collections, with programs changing every three days to connect visitors with artists, designers and performers from the wider community.

The first three days of the NGV Kids Summer Festival at NGV International are centred around this year’s summer blockbuster exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse, drawing upon McQueen’s design inspirations and the influence of late ‘90s London. The hands-on activities, including hat designing and embroidery, celebrate McQueen’s creative process and capacity for storytelling.

Photo: Tobias Titz.

Melbourne musicians Shiny Coin bring their unique flair to the Great Hall, inviting children and families to channel their inner rock-star in a pop-punk performance. Visitors can practise their best runway poses in a fashion, music and theatre workshop hosted by Arrernte drag queen Stone Motherless Cold. 

Inspired by McQueen’s collection Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, where make up and face paint enhanced the collection’s narrative, children can have their faces painted in designs created by Melbourne make-up artist Nisal Atapattu, transforming them to look like mythical beings or intergalactic warriors.

From 17 to 19 January, families will enjoy Greek theatre inspired games, watch traditional Greek dancing, and listen to stories of myths and legends in celebration of the 2022 NGV Architecture Commission: Temple of Boom, a contemporary reimagining of the Parthenon by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang.

Temple of Boom. Photo: Tobias Titz.

Melbourne-based, Greek-born artist Alkisti Pitsaki will hosts storytelling sessions sharing myths and legends of Ancient Greece, and the Manasis School of Greek Dance and Culture introduce Hellenic history and culture, while children take part in traditional dances. Visitors can also learn about Ancient Greek pottery by creating their own 3D vase using paper in an activity presented in collaboration with The Hellenic Museum.

The final days of the NGV Kids Summer Festival, 20–22 January, will explore the NGV’s Collection of Asian Art with paper lantern making workshops by Korean-Australian artist Suyeon Park, plus K-Pop dance performances and workshops by NV Dance Studio. Visitors can take part in meditative Tai Chi sessions with Tai Chi Australia accompanied by live music inspired by NGV’s China – The past is present exhibition.

Photo: Tobias Titz.

The final day of the festival on 22 January is dedicated to Lunar New Year with lion dance performances, live classical Chinese music by Guzheng instrumentalist QiQi, and complimentary NGV Lunar New Year red envelopes to gift to family and friends.

Throughout the NGV Kids Summer Festival, activities at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are inspired by Indigenous Art from the NGV Collection, a diverse collection display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and design.

Children and their families can join Taungurung artist and author Cassie Leatham and her pet budgie Mr Beaky for a reading of her new book An Important Message From Mr Beaky about what it means to be an Aboriginal person in Australia. Children can ask Mr Beaky questions and hear him respond in Taungurung language.

Photo: Tobias Titz.

Visitors are also invited to join Indigenous textile designer, artist and educator, Taylah Aimee Eid in a weaving workshop to create their own woven creatures while learning new skills.

The free kids exhibition Julian Opie: Studio for Kids is open throughout the festival, offering a digital portrait-making activity inviting children and families to create their own artwork in the distinctive and bold style of leading British pop- artist Julian Opie. During the festival five Relaxed Sessions in the exhibition welcome visitors who would benefit from a quieter experience with fewer people and reduced sensory stimuli.

Photo: Tobias Titz.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: “This year’s NGV Kids Summer Festival offers kids and families the opportunity to learn about and explore unique parts of the NGV while introducing curious minds to fashion, architecture, art and design. The NGV is committed to fostering creativity and inspiring learning through this free, dynamic program for the whole family. We hope kids and families return throughout the festival to enjoy multiple unique and engaging experiences.”

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