The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is thrilled to announce an extraordinary gift from the White Oak Foundation (Sarah and John Lechleiter) — a philanthropic gift that will allow for artists with ties to Indiana to teach about their art to school groups and children and families visiting the world’s largest children’s museum.
Called the "Visiting Artist Program," featured artists will showcase their work and make public presentations several times a year within several museum galleries, including the National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS) presented by The George and Peggy Rapp Family, the Mann Properties Gallery of Paleo Art, the Playscape Art Studio, and the museum’s Sunburst Atrium.
“The Children’s Museum’s Visiting Artist Program will enable artists, children and families to engage regularly, providing long-term learning outcomes for all involved. It is yet another way the museum is advancing its arts and cultural impact on Indianapolis and our state,” said Executive Director Lewis C. Ricci, Indiana Arts Commission.
A myriad of recent studies indicate direct and indirect links between arts education and positive child development. Johns Hopkins researchers concluded students motivated to practice and spend time with a specific art form increased their attention spans and improved their IQ scores.
“This remarkable gift allows the museum to enhance its mission to transform lives by providing extraordinary opportunities for our visitors to delve deeper into the arts and humanities,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum. “This exciting new program is intended to inspire children and their parents to learn more about the world around them by engaging with artist-teachers and museum staff committed to the important role of arts education in our lives.”
The museum is extremely proud to announce that Indiana artist C. W. Mundy will be the first featured artist in the Special Exhibition Gallery presented by Ice Miller. He will be at the museum to speak with and teach aspiring artists on May 5, 2018 as the museum’s first Visiting Artist.
Explaining their generous support of the program, the Lechleiters made the following statement: “The Visiting Artist Program at our world-class Children’s Museum provides a unique and innovative way to bring the fine arts into the lives of children and their parents. We believe that art is food for the soul! With this program, we hope to plant the seeds of the beauty of art through the expertise of noted local artists from our wonderful Indiana art community. We are honored that C. W. Mundy has agreed to be our inaugural ‘Visiting Artist.’ His ability to share his passion for the arts is second to none.”
Mr. Mundy, whose art work is featured in the National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS), is passionate about sports, particularly basketball, and art. The combined passions inspired his illustrations of NBA stars reproduced on plates and mugs, his 1987 official Pan Am Games X poster, illustrations of Olympic athletes, a 1991 PGA tournament poster at Crooked Stick Golf Course in Carmel, Indiana, and even a painting of Cincinnati Reds baseball star Johnny Bench commissioned for former Reds owner Marge Schott.
Mundy says he is thrilled to have his work displayed in NAMOS and is eager to share his passion and knowledge with children and families who visit the museum. “This is the museum I want to hang in. I want to be there to give kids hope that they can pursue their dreams. That’s what Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell did for me,” said Mundy. “I’m just a child trapped in an adult’s body. The only difference is I want to be responsible.”
“The Visiting Artist Program is a wonderful new addition and opportunity for deep engagement in the visual arts. It will provide for meaningful interaction and learning opportunities for museum patrons," said Dave Lawrence, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.