Release Date: Septembr 5, 2000
National Gallery of Art Launches Children's Web Site
Developed by the Gallery's education division, NGAkids features stories, activities, and information on the Gallery's collections, along with an animated musical tale called Lizzy and Gordon Visit the Sculpture Garden. The site also links to family-oriented resources, events, and publications suitable for children of all ages.
"NGAkids invites young people to explore the nation's art through a Web site the Gallery designed especially for them," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We feel it is critical to take full advantage of the opportunities we have with the Internet to reach out to the younger generation. We hope to capture their imagination and introduce them to the principles of art history."
"Lizzy and Gordon Visit the Sculpture Garden"
An animated musical adventure for kids seven to ten years old, Lizzy and Gordon Visit the Sculpture Garden follows a brother and sister as they encounter works of art in the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden, a 6.1-acre site that opened to the public on May 23, 1999. The story can be viewed and read in a linear fashion, or an interactive approach can be used. Information on each of the seventeen sculptures located in the Sculpture Garden, for example, can be found by clicking on one of the images on the overview map. Along with its visual presentation, the story is also narrated and is accompanied by music.
NGAkids also offers six art activities designed for elementary and middle-school children. The interactive activities are based on the National Gallery of Art Activity Book, published in 1994 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the National Gallery of Art. The art activities include games dealing with compositional arrangement, color, harmony, and perspective, as well as clues that lead to the meaning of paintings.
Creators and Development
Lizzy and Gordon Visit the Sculpture Garden was created by Susan Finley, a filmmaker who studied at the Interactive Technology Center of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, in collaboration with the Gallery's education staff. The art and music integral to the piece were developed by her colleagues, Barbara Genova and Thomas Beyer. Donna Mann, production manager in the Gallery's department of education publications, oversaw the development of Lizzy and Gordon and produced the art activities and the NGAkids splash page.
The site was designed to be intellectually and technologically accessible to elementary and middle-school children. Its level of interactivity encourages self-directed learning and enables children to navigate the site easily on their own. The site has been tested and evaluated at the Gallery and in area schools.
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