WILMINGTON, DE.- The Delaware Art Museum
announced a new interactive installation in Kids Corner, the childrens space on the Museums lower level. The installationtitled Who Hears Twell Van Dunder (Who here is 12 and under?)fosters creative and imaginative play, hands-on exploration, and storytelling.
The new installation, an artist-made space designed and created by the New Jersey-based Smith family, has transformed Kids Corner into a colorful enchanted forest where visitors wander on paths winding around giant trees which contain tiny displays of magical places and original music by the Smiths. The installation also includes a shimmering, sequined fish pond where children can sit on lily pads and fish with magnetic poles; stool-sized mushrooms encircling a fabric campfire; and a plush birds nest perfect for curling up with a book. A gigantic sheepdog named Twell Van Dunderthe main character of this imagined spacegreets children along the path. The walls of the space are covered with sunset murals and trees painted by the Smith children, Lilly, Ida, and Lukas. Tiered seating is available in the back of the room, where the Museums popular Friday morning story-time program, Glory of Stories, takes place.
Who Hears Twell Van Dunder is the latest installation in the Family-in-Residence program, which invites local families to conceptualize, design, and install the entire Kids Corner space. The Smiths also created the beloved 2017 installation Lenny the Ice Cream Man, which included a life-size ice cream truck, giant ice cream cushions, and an illustrated wall-magnet story.
Our intention was to turn upside down the current social pressures of children growing up too quickly, says Daniel Smith. We wanted to celebrate childhood as the destinationto encourage children to enjoy life and preserve the moments of wonder, play, and imagination that come with being a child. Additionally, we would love for teenagers and adults to remember how to play, imagine, and ask what if, the tools that might have gotten lost in the process of growing up.
The newest installation by the Smiths is truly a joy to behold for all ages, says Saralyn Rosenfield, the Delaware Art Museums Director of Learning & Engagement. In addition to the playful sensory-oriented interactives, the overall atmosphere is transformed by the color-filled walls, lighting scheme, and folk-like sound.
Who Hears Twell Van Dunder is a two-year installation that will be open until summer 2021. It is open to the public during regular visitor hours. There will be an opening celebration on Sunday, September 8 from noon 2:00 p.m. during the Museums monthly Family 2nd Sunday program, a monthly drop-in day of art-making, story time, movement, music, and sensory play for children ages 0-12. Additional programming with the Smith Family will take place on select Family 2nd Sundays.