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I wasn’t surprised that my youngest son had done some Picasso inspired artwork in his classroom. Picasso is very appealing to children with bold features in his paintings and the use of everyday objects in his sculptures. What I was surprised about was how much info he has retained on the artist and his work. He’s only 7 years old. I overheard him talk to Grandma the other day telling her about our upcoming visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) with our friends. He was explaining how Picasso’s artwork wasn’t like “real life”. “The lines don’t always match and things aren’t always in the right place”, he says. “You might get one thick line with another that is thinner.”
The AGO currently features Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris – a very rare glimpse of his personal collection and perspective of his life and work. Over a career of more than seventy years, these are the works he kept for himself or had gifted to close family and friends. 
When you view the 14000 ft vast exhibit you will notice that some of his work has not been signed. Picasso had trademarked his signature and only signed works that were sold. After he passed away his family donated his over 70 years of art making to the Musee. The collection shows his personal passions, desires and fears. This is the only Canadian stop for this exhibit. 
The AGO exhibit was also curated with children in mind and it’s worth getting the audio guide. There are seven key works of art that are on the children’s audio stops and suitable for 6 to 9 year olds. The information on the guide were formed based on children’s input and questions on Picasso’s work. Each stop is about a minute in duration. Experts suggest inspiring art conversations with your kids by asking questions like “Why do you think Picasso painted her face yellow?” as oppose to straight out questions like “do you like that?”. Amazing what answers came out of my kid! Also, encourage your kids to look for hidden objects in his work..it became a game for us! There are adult audio guides available as well and strongly recommended for older kids and adults alike.

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In addition to the exhibit families can enjoy the AGO’s Family Creativity Lounge located just outside the Picasso exhibit – a family activity area with hands-on activities like drawing and sculpture making as well as stuffed animals and picture books. 
Staying over during lunch or snack times? Kid-friendly food is available for purchase in the cafe AGO or in the sit down restaurant FRANK with Picasso inspired foods! Hello paella! But you can also bring in your own food and enjoy at your leisure with long lunch tables and free wi-fi – just a few more ways the AGO is making the space more accommodating for families!
The AGO strongly suggests going early in the week and earlier in the day to best enjoy the exhibit with your kids – before the crowds. The AGO’s permanent collection is open and free to the public on Wednesday evenings form 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Admission to Picasso is separate). 
The Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris is only open until August 26, 2012. The AGO is located at 317 Dundas St. West in Toronto. 
For more information and tips for families, visit the official website at www.ago.net
You may also be interested in the AGO’s new free APP now available on iTunes and Google play. The new AGO Express Yourself app allows users to make art in five different exciting artistic styles, and share with friends! It’s a neat way to take art to the next level! 

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This is one of our favourite paintings. We spent time looking at this and discovering the hidden inspirations. 


Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Musicien (Musician), 1972
Oil on Canvas
194.5 x 129.5 cm
Pablo Picasso gift-in-lieu, 1979, MP229
Musee National Picasso, Paris.
(C) Picasso Estate SODRAC (2012)
(C) RMN/Jean-Gilles Berizzi
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Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Le Chevre (The Goat), 1950,
Bronze
120.5 x 72 x 144 cm
Pablo Picasso gift-in-lieu, 1979, MP340
Musee National Picasso, Paris. 
(C) Picasso Estate SODRAC (2012)
(C) RMN/Beatrice Hatala
D.I.Y. Idea!
After seeing the Picasso exhibit, it’s inspired us to start ANOTHER art project for this summer. So, we’re going to create a sculpture using everyday items glued together (maybe like Picasso’s goat), papermache and then paint it in bronze. We’ve got everything handy..except for the bronze paint, but we’ve got other colours. The little one is really excited!!!!  
  • Katya

    Fab show. Everyone who can, should go to see this.

  • Tracey

    Wonderful. I wish I could go!

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